Hrebenciuc resigns from Parliament

PSD MP Viorel Hrebenciuc, prosecuted for influence peddling, resigned from Parliament on Tuesday morning, yet staying in PSD. “It’s perfectly true, I decided to resign. I want to keep up my dignity, as I had it all my life. Stay calm, I won’t change my mind”, Hrebenciuc told journalists while he was leaving Chamber Speaker’s office. He further said he did not regret conversations with PSD spokesperson Dan Sova. “I haven’t broken any rule. If you pay a little attention, this is just coffee chat, as you used to do. I don’t regret a word I said”, Hrebenciuc also said. Yet, he says he regrets resignation from Parliament, but promises he will come back in 2016. Hrebenciuc states he won’t leave PSD and that he trusts Justice. The Speaker of Chamber Valeriu Zgonea added up Hrebenciuc resigned precisely to place himself at prosecutors’ disposal. Hrebenciuc’s resignation as PM and as Chamber vice-chairman will be enforced starting next Monday.

Already prosecuted for corruption in the forests retrocession file, Hrebenciuc was informed on Monday he was also investigated for influence peddling in a new file. Anticorruption prosecutors claim Hrebenciuc would have accessed information inside DNA with the help of former head of Guard and Protection Service (SPP), Dumitru Iliescu. More precisely, Iliescu would have asked and obtained information about Hrebenciuc’s tapping from a DNA employee. PSD spokesperson Dan Sova is also prosecuted in the same file. Hrebenciuc would have asked Sova to file a draft bill on amnesty and felonies’ pardon. In return, Hrebenciuc would have promised Sova to support him to win the party’s leadership in case PM Ponta won presidential elections.

However PSD leaders are standing by Hrebenciuc and Sova for know. PM Ponta said on Tuesday that Hrebenciuc resignation is a personal decision that clears justice out of the electoral campaign. Asked if he also expects Sova’s honorable resignation, Ponta resumed his Monday statements, meaning that targeting a party leadership is not illegal. “I don’t understand why a person targeting for a position should be arrested for that. I wanted to be PSD president and nobody arrested me in 2010, fortunately. So, now we arrest people who want to be party leaders? I think we go back in Ceausescu or Stalin’s times and I don’t want that”, Ponta pointed out. In his turn, Chamber speaker Valeriu Zgonea said there is no one on earth who can influence a party Congress.

Yet, no everybody in PSD sticks up for Hrebenciuc and Sova. Social-Democrat MP media tycoon Sebastian Ghita, known for his growing influence in the party, asked for Hrebenciuc and Sova suspension from PSD. In Ghita’s view, those two have jeopardized other MP’s position and risk to compromise the entire party. “Victor Ponta wants to defend law and honesty. These men have made mistakes in the party. I don’t know if they did anything wrong from the justice point of view. Mr. Ponta said that who was to promote foul plays in PSD should be expelled. Justice has to take its course over retrocessions file, as well as over Macovei or Basescu’s regime”, Ghita told a press statement on Monday night.

PSD leader Liviu Dragnea, who was mentioned in Hrebenciuc-Sova talks, ironically commented: “It’s a mercy that stupidity is no felony in Romania. That’s their great luck”. According to the DNA tappings, Hrebenciuc would have promised to support Sova for taking PSD leadership, against other favorite contenders such as Liviu Dragnea and Valeriu Zgonea.






dan sovaparliamentresignationsebastian ghitaVictor Pontaviorel hrebenciuc
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