The PSD Executive Committee has voted on Monday evening to withdraw the political support for the Tudose Government, Prime Minister Mihai Tudose announcing that he would submit his mandate, political sources said.
On Tuesday, at 11.00h, a fresh meeting of the PSD Executive Committee will take place, which will decide on the nomination for the next Prime Minister, Claudiu Manda saying he does not believe that PSD will end up in the opposition.
PM Mihai Tudose has announced he would resign as Prime Minister Monday evening. The information was officially confirmed by the Minister of Agriculture, Petre Daea, the first to leave the PSD headquarters after the Executive Committee sitting.
“The party has decided, we need another Government with a different approach, it’s always room for improvement. I did not want to break the party. Maybe I have my part of guilt, the Executive Committee appointed me, CEx said there room for improvement. I blame myself that I did not make more km of motorway, more hospitals, but I did not complete a bad year. I will not secure the interim period. I go to Victoria Palace to take my things out from there,” Mihai Tudose said.
PSD Prahova chairman, Bogdan Toader, said Monday evening, after the PSD meeting that Mihai Tudose did not want to secure the interim period, and Paul Stănescu was appointed as prime minister.
PSD President Galaţi, Nicolae Marin, said that Romanian President Klaus Iohannis will have to respect the majority in Parliament and appoint a new PM, at the proposal of the PSD and ALDE ruling coalition.
Former Defence Minister Adrian Ţuţuianu said Monday evening, after the PSD Executive Committee meeting, that the vote on the withdrawal of political support for Mihai Tudose was democratic, saying that “life will tell” who was wrong.
Of all the Executive Committee members, there were only 4 votes in favour of the resignation and 4 abstentions, the rest voting for the withdrawal of political support.
Interior Minister Carmen Dan said on Monday night that she has done what she had to do, being asked if she feels responsible for ‘this government’s departure.’
“I did what I had to do,” Carmen Dan said.
Mihai Tudose had the office only six months and a half as prime minister. The Government led by Mihai Tudose received the parliament’s vote of confidence on June 29, 2017, two days after Tudose was nominated by the PSD-ALDE coalition as prime minister.
Mihai Tudose’s predecessor, Sorin Grindeanu, the first prime minister of the PSD-ALDE coalition after the election in 2016, held the position of prime minister less than 6 months.
The PSD Executive Committee started at 16.30h in Bucharest, a sitting expected to sort out the disputes within the party and mainly between Chairman Liviu Dragnea and PM Mihai Tudose, having at the crossroads Interior Minister Carmen Dan.
Before the start, lots of rumours and unconfirmed information surfaced in the media.
According to the sources, Mihai Tudose did not want to have the same experience as former PM Sorin Grindeanu, who refused to resign and was toppled by a vote on non-confidence supported by his own party.
On the other hand, ‘Adevarul’ newspaper reports that PM Tudose was not at all ready to resign and allegedly was to fight for his position during the sitting on Monday.
In regard to Liviu Dragnea, he reportedly said would not accept a revocation of Interior Minister Carmen Dan, as this would undermine his position within the party. Dragnea was determined to have a vote on dismissing the Premier.
Analysts say PSD leader Liviu Dragnea cannot be certain that President Klaus Iohannis would appoint a third Premier from PSD, if Tudose resigns. It would be the third Premier from PSD in less than one year and the second failed PSD Government.
The latest period has witnessed intense negotiations of the two leaders (Dragnea and Tudose) with the party branch leaders in order to get hold of the majority in the Executive Committee. Sources say Liviu Dragnea reportedly had the majority. According to Robert Negoita, on Dragnea’s desk were gathered signatures from county branches which support him and would vote to withdraw the support for Mihai Tudose, hotnews.ro claiming 30 such signatures existed.
PSD deputy Secretary General, Codrin Stefanescu, said, when arriving at the PSD offices in Bucharest, he does not expect the Premier’s dismissal on Monday. “It will be a sitting stormier than ever. We haven’t found a compromise by now. I hope to find our last minute reason. The past days have been agonizing. Today we will leave this place more united, no heads cut down. If needed, we’d spend the night here. My suggestion: we should calm down. The parallel state is testing us, it wants to take over the party,” Stefanescu said.
Dragnea: I will make no more proposals. What is the party” reproaching” to Tudose?
PSD President Liviu Dragnea has announced after the sitting that he will no longer make the proposal for prime minister at the meeting of the PSD National Executive Committee on Tuesday, the nomination will be decided following debates.
“I seem to have a bad hand. (…) I will not make any more proposal. The first time, Sorin Grindeanu, I made the proposal, my colleagues voted it. The second time, Mihai Tudose, I had a discussion with each member of the Executive Committee. As I said, tomorrow I will not file any proposal, I will vote on the proposal that comes out of the debate, but I will assume this too,” Dragnea said Monday night.
Asked if he considered resignation, Dragnea replied: “I havent’ thought about that. I assumed that I had made a mistake when I made this proposal”.
He also announced that he has accused several ministers of “moving lies in the past few months from one side to the other.”
Dragnea stated that he “has allowed” lately that some ministers should write letters or make certain posts, despite they targeted issued hadn’t been previously discussed inside the party. The PSD chair hinted that these things, too, have prompted to the toppling of the Tudose Gov’t and that this kind of things would not happen again.
Asked if there will be any sanctions agaist those ministers, Dragnea answered that they would not be in the future Cabinet anymore.
Also questioned if Mihai Tudose had double command, Dragnea said: “It is one of those ministers’ lies, which were conveyed between us”.
Related to the tensed relations in the party, Dragnea said that there is “a poisonous character in a Romanian institution who had done a lot of harm”, yet without naming him or her. Later on Tuesday, the PSD secretary general Codrin Stefanescu revealed the “poisonous character” is general Lucian Pahonțu, director of the Protection and Guard Service (SPP), with the mass media claiming he is close to former president Traian Basescu.
Overall, Dragnea mentioned that among the rebukes which “stripped” Tudose of the party’s political support were the existing conflict between the party and the Government and the premier’s latest TV appearances, which “shouldn’t have taken place”.
“There were more rebukes. The general conclusion was that we cannot continue this way for it’s a conflict between the party and the Government, and inside the Government as well. The colleagues also referred to his presence on TV lately,” Dragnea said.
He added that there were voices in the Executive committee discontent with the fact that, instead of presenting a balance sheet of his ruling in 2017 and the actions for 2018, Tudose has made public statements without previously consulting the party.
About Iohannis and early elections
Asked about the possibility that President Klaus Iohannis should not appoint a premier from the PSD camp, the SocDem chairman stated that probably the President is not happy either about the current situation, but opined that the head of state would respect the parliamentary majority.
“I am absolutely convinced that President Iohannis is not happy with the current situation and we assume that. However, I think that the President will observe the Constitution and the majority in Parliament,” Dragnea said.
He mentioned he had talked to his alliance partner, Calin Popescu Tariceanu and that he would have meet him on Tuesday.
Asked if PSD is ready for snap elections, Dragnea said: “we are ready for snap elections anytime, but I don’t think the President is considering that”.