Bucharest mayor Gabriela Firea, also PSD vice-president and chairman of PSD Bucharest branch, one of the three Social Democrats who signed the letter asking for Liviu Dragnea’s resignation from all positions in Parliament and in the party, explained after the letter had been made public that she, together with deputy PM Paul Stanescu and vice-president Adrian Tutuianu, had publicly assumed the document, which, she says, is also endorsed by several local leaders of the party.
“There are enough leaders of organizations among us who are joining the principles of this document, so that it should not be ridiculed anymore by Mr. Dragnea,” Firea told Antena 3. She added their action “is 100% responsible”.
In his turn, Adrian Tutuianu, the second signatory, explained they want the party to be temporarily led by the executive chairwoman Viorica Dancila until a Congress to elect a new chairman is held. Tutuianu pointed out that such a congress might be organized early next year.
“We haven’t asked Mr. Dragnea to quit the party. We asked him to step down from the two top positions (e.n- PSD chairman and Chamber speaker) for he is making the party vulnerable,” Tutuianu argued, also explaining that the letter has only three signatories for they have decided to assume the document on behalf of the “discontent leaders”, who are part “of a larger group of county organization leaders, members of the Executive Committee”.
As for the third signatory, deputy PM and minister of Regional Development Paul Stanescu, has stated that “it is high time” he “puts it plainly” in a wider framework.
“I assumed this document, next to Mrs. Firea and Mr. Tutuianu, as I am aware that the Social Democrat Party is at a turning point. It is high time we put it plainly for this is the only way to take the correct decisions. Next to my colleagues I have identified the causes that led to the current situation, which is not a favorable one, despite the good economic and social measures that the Government had taken. We also proposed an action plan, some immediate, others on medium term, to ensure us to stay in power and to win the elections next year,” Stanescu argued.
The first local leader who voiced out his endorsement for the letter is the chairman of PSD organization in Buzau, Marcel Ciolacu, who posted on Facebook on Wednesday that he is endorsing the letter, while asking fro Liviu Dragnea’s resignation from the PSD helm, arguing that Dragnea “has become a man blinded by power, hubris and imaginary fears”.
“I endorse the Letter signed by my colleagues for I am confident that PSD can still do good things fro Romania. To achieve that, we must understand that the party solidarity doesn’t mean to be passive in front of some wrong decisions that have been going on for a long time. These wrong decisions have overlapped with Liviu Dragnea’s desire for even more power. He is a PSD chairman who have done good things, but who, unfortunately, is not the man that I knew several years ago. Unfortunately, Liviu Dragnea has become a man blinded by y power, hubris and imaginary fears”, Marcel Ciolacu argued.
He said he cannot accept that the freedom of speech inside PSD is suppressed, and colleagues are ousted and decision are taken arbitrarily by a single person. The SocDem leader of Buzau said that Dragnea’s resignation is the easiest way to stop “the scandals countrywide”.
PSD secretary general Marian Neacsu has sent a press release saying that the letter assumed by Firea, Stanescu and Tutuianu among others, contains „a series of healthy principles”, while suggesting that every PSD county organization should analyse the document.
„I have read the joint statement very carefully and I found out that a series of healthy principles on the PSD political actions have been specified, which unfortunately have been abandoned lately. I fully support the idea to come back to a democratic way of decision making in the party,” Neacsu said.
Vice-President of the Chamber of Deputies, Florin Iordache has referred to the letter asking for Dragnea’s resignation that only „malevolent people” won’t see the good things the party did and proposed „to end up discussions” in the Executive Committee sitting.
„My opinion is that all these discussions to take place inside the party”, Iordache said, adding the party must stop this internal conflict.
„Let’s put an end to these internal conflicts. PSD has done very good things and only the malevolent ones won’t see all these good things. We must discuss them in the party, we end them up and move on, for we have many things to do, starting with the referendum and to continue ruling,” Iordache pointed out.
Asked if there will be peace in the party if Dragnea stays, he replied: „Definitely yes”.
PSD deputy secretary general, Codrin Stefanescu was even more vocal in defending Dragnea, arguing the letter is „an act of treason” from some colleagues endorsed by Liviu Dragnea in high positions, both in the party and in the Parliament or Government, stressing it is „a conspiracy”.
„We are dealing with a conspiracy (…) I see the letter of these stanched people as an act of treason and I tell them publicly so that all members and followers should understand. The act of treason comes from some colleagues who have been endorsed in high positions: Tutuianu is among the first statesmen, former Defence minister, currently vice-president of the Senate, Paul Stanescu is vice-president, deputy prime minister, minister of Development, Gabriela Firea, is PSD vice-president and Bucharest mayor, gave been fully endorsed by Liviu Dragnea,” Stefanescu told Antena 3, saying the Social Democrat members will not agree to this letter.
Another PSD vice-president, Gabriel Zetea, also leader of the PSD branch in Maramures, opined that it’s not very friendly that the letter has not been discussed inside the party first.
He says all PSD organizations from Transylvania region will reach a joint decision tomorrow that will be presented at CEx on Friday.
„I didn’t say I don’t agree the letter, but the party is made of 500,000 members (…) The idea of camp bothers me very much and might lead to a PSD’s defeat,” Zetea told Digi24.
Asked of Liviu Dragnea should step down from the PSD helm, he answered: „Allow us to discuss the matter inside the party. I only heard about the letter. It doesn’t mean some points in the letter cannot be endorsed. As long as PSD has been a lightning rod against shots, the party’s image has obviously not been the best in these times.”
Ponta: PSD will break up if Dragnea doesn’t step down
Former PSD PM Victor Ponta, currently at war with Liviu Dragnea, has stated that his former party fellows are right to inventory the problems in PSD and opined that Dragnea would willingly step down from all positions, otherwise, the PSD will break up.
„I am glad that my former colleagues understand the way Mr. Dragnea has seized the party, the Parliament and the Government is leading us all to disaster (…) If Mr. Dragnea still has a milligram of reason, he should set PSD, the Parliament and the Government free, he should focus on October 8 when he has an important battle to fight,” Ponta said.
Asked if Dragnea will willingly take a step back like he did, the former premier replied: „No, because Liviu Dragnea is not Victor Ponta. Nobody constrained me, I had the courage to take responsibility.”
Also questioned if PSD is facing a break-up after the Cex, Ponta said: „Yes, unless Dragnea steps down. And I expect them in Pro Romania.”