Viorica Dancila, designated PSD’s candidate for Presidency

PM and PSD chairwoman Viorica Dăncilă has been designated the ruling party’s candidate for Presidency by the National Political Bureau on Tuesday. The proposal is to be validated in the Executive Committee. All PSD leaders, except for two, have voted for Dăncilă.

The party voted for me to represent the party in the presidential election. It’s a vote that honours me and gives me responsibility. I trust me, I trust my colleagues, I am confident we’ll win the Romanians’ appreciation, that we’ll create a wave of confidence countrywide,”  Viorica Dăncilă said. She added she has got chances to beat Klaus Iohannis and Romanians could have their first female president.

However, Dăncilă warned the Social Democrats who will publicly criticise her or the party that they will be sanctioned within the Executive Committee, stressing that any wrong step will affect the party.

My colleagues proposed a resolution to encompass the principle that our opinions should be said within the statutory fora, while those who will come out in the public space with allegations injuring the party or the presidential candidate will be sanctioned. Any wrong step will be endured by the party and we must prove determination, unity and fairness in this fight”, the premier argued.

After the PSD meeting, the premier revealed that Paul Stanescu had blamed her for having a negative image among Romanians for she is associated with the former PSD chairman Liviu Dragnea, currently behind bars for corruption charges.

Stanescu would have told Dancila: “The party is important for us, not the people or that Mrs Dancila tell us she will resign if she loses. You’s better answer this question, with whom we’ll team up in parliament to stay in power”.

Viorica Dancila retorted to Stanescu that she had been isolated by the party while Dragnea was chairman.

When you say the party’s command is elsewhere you bring damage. When you say the party’s command is elsewhere you hurt my feeling (…) I am interested in this party to get up, to win elections. I didn’t want the prime minister position. I was isolated at Victoria Palace. I went in the territory with Eugen Teodorovici and Liviu Dragnea and Codrin Stefanescy ordered mayors not to talk to us (…) I have proof about my relation with Dragnea, but do you think it’s OK to come out publicly? No, because I won’t talk against a former chairman. I was isolated at the Government for six months. I wasn’t allowed to do anything. Don’t you accuse me for being close to Dragnea, for it was not me who had taken decisions in the party. I was isolated and banned from talking to my colleagues. The party was paid by the party so that I should be attacked on TV”, Dancila accused.

Bucharest mayor, Gabriela Firea has given up running, despite she ranked better in the opinion polls in terms of confidence among voters.

Firea had a 20-minute talk with Viorica Dăncilă and secretary general Mihai Fifor before the CEx meeting, with sources revealing that after the discussion Firea’s bid had not been voted anymore.

The Social Democrats who voted against Viorica Dăncilă were former deputy PM Paul Stanescu, also leader of PSD Olt branch and Dumitru Buzatu, leader of the Vaslui organisation.

Another candidature voted was the one of deputy Liviu Pleșoianu, but only Dumitru Buzatu voted for him, while Gabriela Firea abstained from voting.

Four SocDem members had initially joined the internal race to designate the PSD candidate for Cotroceni: Mihai Fifor, Finance Minister Eugen Teodorovici, deputy Liviu Pleșoianu and senator Șerban Nicolae. However, Teodorovici and Fifor have withdrawn from the internal race on Monday.

PM Dăncilă also met ALDE and Pro Romania leaders, Calin Popescu Tariceanu and Victor Ponta on Monday, to discuss about them potentially endorsing the PSD candidate for Presidency, but the meeting has concluded with no decision on a common candidate for the presidential elections or on a potential political agreement.

Dăncilă announced she is waiting for Tariceanu’s and Ponta’s answers by August 3, when the PSD Congress is due to validate the presidential candidate.

Local media reported that Viorica Dăncilă had offered Victor Ponta two ministries in her Cabinet during the negotiations in exchange for the Pro Romania’s endorsement for a common candidate for presidential election. Ponta’s party would receive the two portfolios in September, when PSD would like to operate a government restructuring. Yet, former PM Ponta would have denied the offer.

On the other hand, ALDE seems to go on with its own candidate, Calin Popescu Tariceanu. ALDE vice-president, Varujan Vosganian made the announcement today, while accusing PSD and Dăncilă of breaking the procedure of naming the presidential candidate.

“I have the feeling that PSD does not want to be an important player in this presidential campaign and to have other priorities than winning the Cotroceni seat. I am surprised Mrs Dăncilă is talking about responsibility considering that PSD has broken the procedures to designate the presidential candidate. No opinion polls gives Mrs. Dăncilă the first chance. On Wednesday, it’s almost sure that ALDE will designate Mr Tariceanu as presidential candidate . He is the only one who can coagulate votes from more parties and who has real chances to beat Mr Iohannis in the runoffs”, Vosganian argued.

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