PSD leader PM Victor Ponta summoned a party meeting on Tuesday afternoon to probe into recent statements inside the party over Hrebenciuc-Sova prosecution.
A clear message and tough decisions followed: three important party members, Sebastian Ghita, Dan Sova and Marian Vanghelie, have been suspended from all PSD positions, PM Ponta warning them with tougher sanctions if they keep speaking outside the party’s mandate. Hrebenciuc got away with any party sanction, as he previously resigned from Parliament so that prosecutors can investigate his corruption charges. Gabriela Firea will take over the party spokesperson position from Sova.
“We have reaffirmed a very clear message related to some party members’ accusations. They should put themselves at justice’ s disposal and if the justice decides they are guilty of any charges, they would have to assume responsibility. Nobody will block the course of justice”, Ponta said after the emergency meeting. “Mr. Hrebenciuc’ s decision (to resign from the MP office) is a very clear message in this respect, precisely that justice matters should not interfere with the electoral campaign”, he added, arguing he is convinced Hrebenciuc will prove his innocence in the justice.
Ponta further pointed out that, as it is an electoral campaign undergoing, image problems are important and are more and more frequent. “In the last 24 hours part of our leadership colleagues have been under such image attacks. Mr. Sova, Vanghelie , Ghita, who were going public with these attacks, they will all be suspended from all party positions. We shall discuss how their actions have prejudiced the electoral campaign at the first party executive committee. It’s obvious there were some image cracks inside the party, they are our colleagues but they have to assume responsibility for some issues that have nothing to do with the electoral campaign. I want PSD to be not only the strongest party, but also the most responsible and the most disciplined one. Those who make mistakes will have to pay for them, those who have problems need to clarify them”, Ponta said.
Asked if these three members’ expelling from the party could follow, the prime minister said: “It could be, the party statute stipulates for the expelling possibility”.
Ponta explained today’s sanction is not related to the fact that those three Social Democrats have private conversations but to the fact they went public with them.
“Mr. Ghita talked last night without the party’s consent. I put him on hold and I am sure he will comply with the party’s rules, if not, he would have to leave PSD”, Ponta said about media tycoon Sebastian Ghita. “I gave him and other colleagues (Dan Sova and Marian Vanghelie) a warning, some of them understood it and others did not. We suspended them today, but if they don’t cool down, tougher sanctions will follow”, Ponta concluded.
After Viorel Hrebenciuc and PSD spokesperson Dan Sova have been informed they were prosecuted in an influence peddling file, PSD leaders but also simple members engaged in a fierce row over their talks on PSD future leadership.
Social Democrat MP, media tycoon Sebastian Ghita, known for his growing influence in the party, was the first to ask for Hrebenciuc and Sova suspension from PSD. In Ghita’s view, those two have jeopardized other MPs’ 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.
As for Marian Vanghelie, Bucharest district 5 mayor, he was recorded when threatening and cursing two alleged paparazzi but also voiced swear words against Ponta and Ghita. Later on, Vanghelie said he would sue Wowbiz publication which posted the incriminating recordings. The mayor explained he was not cursing Ponta and Ghita, but the two stalkers whom he said they were not real journalists.
For previous developments in this case read also: