The Social Democrat Party’s Executive Committee has voted interim minister of Economy Mihai Tudose as the candidate for the premier position on Monday, as sources told Hotnews.ro. Four Social Democrats would have yet voted against him: Paul Stanescu, Niculae Badalau, Codrin Stefanescu and Marian Mina.
The social democrat leadership convened on Monday morning to debate the PM nomination in the view of the consultations hosted by President Iohannis at Cotroceni on Monday afternoon.
PSD-ALDE ruling coalition was the first to discuss with President Iohannis, with the meeting lasting about 15 minutes.
PSD chairman Liviu Dragnea said that he hopes president Klaus Iohannis designates Mihai Tudose for the premier position on Monday night so that the Government should be voted on Thursday. “If the president makes the nomination on Monday, as we hopw, we are starting the parliamentary procedures. So we estimate the Government shall be voted on Thursday night,” the SocDem leader explained.
A controversial figure
However, Mihai Tudose is a controversial figure. He was accused of plagiarising his PhD thesis obtained at the National Intelligence Academy, under the guidance of former VP Gabriel Oprea, who also had its PhD title withdrawn due to plagiarism. Other voices claim Tudose is pretty close to the local intelligence community.
In retort, PSD chairman Liviu Dragnea said in a press conference that he has no doubt that Mihai Tudose would have a double command, arguing he has known him for many years and that they have worked together in the party and in previous governments.
“I had no shadow of doubt that Tudose has double command, there have been tensed moments and I haven’t seen any hesitation”, Dragnea stated, also explaining why four PSD members have vetoed Tudose. “After Grindeanu, the suspicion is high”.
Asked about plagiarism suspicions against Tudose, Dragnea reminded that the latter has filed a request for his PhD title’s withdrawal.
“I am no expert on PhD theses, but as far as I can remember Victor Ponta was also charged with plagiarism and used to be a good premier,” Dragnea said.
Moreover, according to the latest analysis of the party on Grindeanu’s Cabinet activity, Mihai Tudose, minister of Economy, was also among the ministers who had no achievements at the helm of the Economy Ministry. The review of his activity conducted by Darius Valcov says that Tudose had zero achievements, two measures partially achieved, and 17 measures which were not achieved at all.
Yet, SocDem vice-president Olgura Vasilescu said on Monday that Mihai Tudose “has carried out all goals, but they have been blocked by the premier (en-Sorin Grindeanu).”
Names previously on the list
After PSD chairman Liviu Dragnea stated on Monday morning that they have around five proposals for the PM positions, party sources revealed later on that PSD would go to the consultations at Cotroceni palace with only one nomination, deputy Mihail Tudose, currently interim minister of Economy. All the other persons rumored as being on the short list refused to take over the PM seat.
On the other hand, former president Traian Basescu, chairman of the People’s Movement Party (PMP) is pressuring the opposition to advance their own nomination for the prime minister, announcing that if the National Liberal Party doesn’t forward a candidate, as they stated they would come to power only by snap elections, PMP will propose a name for PM.
While Social Democrats are certain of their success, the recently debated non-confidence motion proved they couldn’t count on as many votes as they used to do. On top of that, president Klaus Iohannis said on Friday the parliamentary majority that should give an indubitable head of the Executive would be checked up.
Some said that senator Mihai Fifor, the Interior minister Carmen Dan or MEP Viorica Dancila had the best shot for being nominated, while deputy central bank governor Florin Georgescu seems to have bowled off.
Others say that the current interim minister of Economy, Mihai Tudose, is most likely to be nominated for Victoria Palace. He is PSD vice-president, reached his 5th mandate as an MP, and is close to PSD chairman, Liviu Dragnea.
Tudose was amid a plagiarism row in 2015, when he was accused that he has plagiarized his PhD thesis, obtained at the National Intelligence Academy.
Another rumored name for the PM seat is MP Adrian Tutuianu, head of the SRI committee.
Bucharest mayor Gabriela Firea revealed that the party has four or five proposals for the PM position so far, with ladies also on the list.
Another high ranking female leader of PSD, vice-president Olguta Vasilescu stated that the first PM nomination submitted by the ruling coalition will be accepted by the President and there won’t be a second vote in Parliament that would enable snap elections, arguing there are “millions of parliamentary tricks” to block this second vote. She exemplified that the Parliament leadership, controlled by the current majority, can block this vote.
On the other hand, PMP chair Traian Basescu said on Sunday evening that if Liberals don’t nominate a candidate for the PM seat during Monday’s consultations, PMP will do it, as president Iohannis should have the chance to analyse more options, not only the one submitted by PSD-ALDE.