Three PSD camps – battle scenarios

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Victor Ponta’s announcement of leaving the Social-Democratic Party (PSD) leading office revealed backstage games of PSD leaders trying to get the party leadership. The step back made by Victor Ponta has opened new horizons for his rivals in the party, Liviu Dragnea and Valeriu Zgonea, informs.
On the other hand, Ponta is playing his last card. Victor Ponta remains head of the Government, a position which leaves room for manoeuvre within the ruling coalition, its aim being now the removal of Vice-premier Gabriel Oprea and the break of the alliance with UNPR, according to some top sources in PSD. One of the reasons Ponta will point to is related to the salaries for officials adopted by the Government behind his back while he was in Istanbul for the knee surgery, although Gabriel Oprea had informed Ponta last week that the Government would approve the mentioned ordinance. If ousting Oprea will not break the ruling coalition, Ponta would make this move anyway before a possible no-confidence motion from the Liberals. Ponta can be sure of his premier seat until the beginning of the parliamentary session, then he intends to get PSD in opposition until the elections next year. The quoted newspaper also says Victor Ponta is going to promote Rovana Plumb to the top office, one of his last trustworthy social-democrats, until he solves the issues related to justice. Nevertheless, many PSD members do not agree with this move. Other sources say Ponta is not aiming only at Oprea’s head, Valeriu Zgonea (Chamber of Deputies Speaker) is also targeted, following his ‘game’ during the vote in parliament for Mihai Razvan Ungureanu as head of the Foreign Intelligence Service (SIE) or due to delaying the discussion of drafts on amending criminal acts. Other sources say Calin Popescu Tariceanu, the ex-liberal leader, might be a solution to take over the government from Ponta.
The second camp includes Zgonea, who would allegedly try to get advantage of the turning point for Ponta. Zgonea is counting on Gabriel Oprea’s support. Their plan is said to support Zgonea for the top post in PSD so that the social-democrats are certain of the needed political support to remain in power. In return, Oprea would get support to replace Victor Ponta within the government. On long term Oprea and Zgonea aim at PSD-UNPR merger, Oprea being said to become PSD executive president (the position of Liviu Dragnea until being sentenced in the referendum file, after which he resigned – our note).
The third camp is supposedly led by Liviu Dragnea. Social-democratic sources say Dragnea would try to replace Rovana Plumb with PSD secretary general Andrei Dolineaschi. If the latter will decline a confrontation with Ponta, then Dragnea will choose someone else. However, it seems that the first internal battle was won by Liviu Dragnea, who succeeded in summoning the Executive Committee for next Wednesday, although Victor Ponta opposed the idea.
Who will win out of the three camps? Who is better positioned for the final battle? It looks like we need to have a little bit of patience. Things are on stand-by, but it won’t be long until one of the three camps emerges as the winner.

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