Heated PSD Executive Committee, Paul Stanescu resigns, extraordinary congress to elect new leaders set on June 29 following split opinions

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Paul Stănescu has resigned from the PSD executive president position only two weeks he had been appointed.

The decision has been just announced during the ruling party’s Executive Committee taking place today. Stanescu has stated he had resigned due to personal reasons, adding that he is considering running for a vice-president position.

However, the resignation comes amid Stanescu’s opposition against calling a congress to elect a new leadership of the party until after the presidential election due this autumn. PM Viorica Dancila pleaded that the congress should be held as soon as possible, arguing that the party must elect its leadership prior to announcing the candidate for Presidency.

Eventually, the Executive Committee has officially decided that an extraordinary congress is held on June 29.

The speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, Marcel Ciolacu had stated at the end of the PSD meeting that a  congress will be organised this month, arguing that some members want stability, yet avoiding to say if he is filing his candidature for any position.

My priority is the censure motion. Mathematically speaking, there is no problem whatsoever“, Ciolacu said.

The meeting today has been convened precisely to tackle the topic of the congress, when it should be held, as well as the issue of the government reshuffles.

If the majority of the Social Democrats have voiced support for an urgent congress to elect new leadership after the former chairman Liviu Dragnea has been imprisoned for corruption, other top leaders opined the congress should be held after the presidential election this autumn.

Leader of PSD Vrancea, Marian Oprisan advanced the end of June for holding the congress, while the leader of PSD Giurgiu, Eugen Badalau said it should be organised “in a month or two”, in order to also set the PSD’s future candidate for Presidency, and his campaign programme.

In his turn, Dumitru Buzatu, leader of PSD Vaslui, opined that he had lobbied for a congress to be held later, saying that the haste of organising it proves any interim leadership’s desire to be formalised.

Firea, opposite stance to a ‘hasty congress’

As for the Bucharest mayor and leader of the Capital PSD branch, Gabriela Firea, she denied a conflict with PM Dancila, while regarding the congress she said that “haste makes waste”.

Asked is this congress should be organised in the upcoming period, Firea replied: “When can we organise it? Instead of closing ranks for the censure motion in Parliament, shall we start over with groups and small groups, instead of being preoccupied with other problems?”

After the official decision to summon the Extraordinary Congress on June 29, Firea said she would not be able to attend the congress as she will be admitted to hospital to undergo one more surgery after a 4-cm wire had been found in her colon.

“I don’t think that we must organise such an important congress to elect the president in a hurry, in two-tree weeks. Coincidence or not, I will in hospital during that period, I have one more surgery to undergo and I could not have attended anyhow. I endorsed Mr. Stanescu’s stance and I still do, that our concern now should be the citizens, to reinforce our organisations, to close ranks and to learn the lessons of this vote,” Firea pointed out.

Resigning executive president Paul Stanescu had told Antena 3 on Wednesday that youngsters should be allowed to take the party’s leadership. He also opined that there will probably “a wider reshuffle after the censure motion”.

“I will not take any position in the Government, I think the party is in bad need for unity, solidarity, it must be reorganised and the party needs me. There are younger colleagues who can do that”, he argued.

The presidential candidate – PSD’s main issue

Apart from splitting voices over the date of the congress that will elect Dragnea’s successor, the ruling party has a big problem; it has no candidate for Presidency.

Sources quoted by local media reported that PSD is even considering an apolitical candidate, with names like actor Dan Puric and Aurel Pop, the president of the Romanian Academy, being rumoured.

Yet, party leaders have not missed the opportunity to flirt with the idea of running for the Cotroceni seat.

Finance Minister, Eugen Teodorovici, has admitted on Thursday evening while live at Antena 3 that he is tempted by a candidature to Presidency, yet without mentioning the time to take this step.

I don’t know exactly when. Definitely sometimes,” Teodorovici said when asked about running. “Any politician must admit he has to take some effort to advance on the political path, if he is no hypocrite,” the FinMin added.

As for an outsider for Cotroceni, for instance Ioan Aurel Pop, Marian Oprisan said he doesn’t know of his intention to run on behalf of PSD: “He is a great scholar and a great intellectual and a great Romanian. If he would want to candidate, that’s a big news”.

Oprisan said PSD had always had a presidential candidate, opining this candidate must be “a serious guy, a strong man, with real qualities and a person in love with his country, who must observe the Constitution to the letter”.

Another potential candidate could be the mayor of Voluntari, Florentin Pandele, Gabriela Firea’s husband, who has recently announced his intention to run for Cotroceni, as an independent though. The mayor of Bucharest said today her husband had not consulted her when taking this decision, but underlined she is standing by him.

Gabriela Firea has been the most rumoured name to be the PSD’s candidate for presidency, however, she has denied intention.

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