Chamber Speaker position vacant, ex-PM Ponta eyes it

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The Chamber of Deputies officially announced today that the Chamber Speaker position is vacant after Valeriu Zgonea (photo) lost it following his ousting from the Social Democrat Party.

A request filed by the Social Democrat Party group came requesting that at the first plenary sitting the Chamber of Deputies should ascertain that Valeriu Zgonea’s position of speaker ended. Now the request is going to the plenary sitting, the MPs are voting it and the position becomes vacant,” the PSD Secretary General of the Chamber Marcel Ciolacu stated.

The Chamber voted the resolution draft to revoke Zgonea with 167 votes to 32 and one abstention. Soon after that the Standing Bureau convened and appointed PSD deputy Florin Iordache as interim Chamber speaker.

The Standing Bureau is also to decide in the upcoming period when a new Chamber speaker would be elected.

According to the amended Statute Committee, Valeriu Zgonea could be recalled from office for he had been ousted from the Social Democrat Party and therefore it is considered he had lost the party’s political support to stay in office.

Last week, the Chamber of Deputies plenarysitting Okayed the draft that is amending the Chamber regulation so that Valeriu Zgonea could be revoked from the Chamber speaker position.

The draft resolution amended the procedure of revoking the Chamber Speaker. According to it, the Chamber speaker ends his mandate when he loses political endorsement or if the deputies vote for his revocation “on the motion of the leader of the parliamentary group that he initially proposed him”. The draft resolution was Okayed with 11 votes to one.

Meanwhile, Social Democrats kicked off the internal race to get a replacer for Zgonea.

PSD chairman Liviu Dragnea stated on Monday that Zgonea’s replacer for the Chamber speaker position is to be announced on Tuesday within the party’s National Executive Committee, adding that, for it’s his responsibility, the decision to name this replacer belongs to him.  However, he underlined he is not interested in this position.

Asked who would correspond to the speaker profile, as among the rumored names are the former PM Victor Ponta and Florin Iordache, Dragnea only said that he would not propose at the Chamber’s helm the one who would be more suitable to stand next to him during the electoral campaign for the parliamentary elections (due this autumn).

I put everyone on his place. Like in a team. If I need someone accompanying me in the campaign, I will not put the gavel into his hand in the Chamber and give the floor to the MPs,” the Social Democrat leader stressed, hinting that his option is not the former premier Victor Ponta.

On the other side, Victor Ponta spoke clearly on Monday that he would run in the party for the Chamber speaker office. The former prime minister argued he had talked to several colleagues who had told him that “it would be the best for PSD”.

Questioned if Liviu Dragnea is sharing this opinion, Ponta replied: “You’d better ask him,” adding that he hopes Dragnea will endorse him for this office. Dragnea’s retort came shortly after: “If he self proposed, we don’t need to vote anymore.”

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