Turmoil in PNL: Tens of local branches want chairman Citu out, he won’t resign, extraordinary congress in the pipeline


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The Liberals don’t want their chairman, Florin Citu, anymore, while Florin Cîțu has yet refused to resign from the position of PNL president. In a meeting of the National Executive Bureau convened by the anti-Cîțu camp on Friday, 42 PNL leaders decided to organize a National Council on Sunday where the date of the Extraordinary Congress for the replacement of Florin Cîțu will be set.

PNL president Florin Cîțu refused to attend the party’s leadership meeting on Friday set up by leaders who supported the former prime minister in the fight with Ludovic Orban and who now want to remove him from office, saying he had convened statutory meeting for Saturday.

Florin Cîțu, says that he is “disappointed” by the request of the liberal leaders from the country to convene a meeting of the National Council in order to change the leadership of the party. He said he had summoned a party Executive Bureau on Saturday.

“I was vocal and I will remain against populist measures that will jeopardize Romania’s financial stability. Interest, inflation, unemployment. There are things that could have been done better. Another reason that was invoked was the Anghel Saligny Program. To claim that I would have been against adoption is bizarre. It is implemented by the Government, not by the PNL. I communicated publicly with everyone. Romanians feel the 10% of inflation. I’m disappointed with this situation, because there are people I’ve started with,” Citu said.

Asked what he will do if he is not PNL chair or of the Senate speaker anymore, Florin Cîţu replied: “What I have done so far. I will be liberal and defend liberal principles while in politics. After all, we are in politics to defend the principles. I joined politics and the PNL to defend liberal principles. “

However, the general secretary of PNL, Dan Vîlceanu, Florin Cîțu’s right hand man, announced that at Saturday’s meeting of the PNL Executive Bureau he will announce his resignation, claiming that he does not want to participate in “such a fair”. Asked if he thought he still had a chance to remain a minister in the Ciuca government, he said it was not “his goal to be a minister all his life”.


The Liberal leaders had met Citu on Thursday evening, right after he returned from a visit to the U.S., asking him to step down from the party’s helm. Citu’s contestants argue that the party should be run by Nicolae Ciuca, who is also incumbent prime minister.

Sources from the party had disclosed that that if Florin Cîțu “does not want to have a smooth departure”, ie to accept his resignation, the Liberals will also strip him of the Senate Speaker position. As it was unlikely that Florin Cîțu would agree to leave the party leadership voluntarily, the situation is expected to trigger a possible public war between him and the party.

The Liberals also eye to remove all Citu’s men from the government and from the party’s leadership as well and there will be changes at the level of the first vice-presidents and vice-presidents, who were elected to the Congress in September 2021 on the list with which Florin Cîțu obtained the position of president, following the competition with Ludovic Orban. Dan Vîlceanu, the current general secretary of PNL and minister of Investments and Florin Cîțu’s best friend, will also lose his position. Lucian Bode, Minister of the Interior, is being considered for the post of Secretary General.

The Liberals blame Florin Cîțu for the poor management of the relationship with the coalition partners, the provocation of a permanent war with PSD, the sabotage of Nicolae Ciucă inside the Coalition and the non-respect of the partnership with President Klaus Iohannis.

Liberal local branches, like PNL Iasi, Braila and others have already voiced support for Nicolae Ciuca to take over the leadership of the party.

However, in retort, Citu’s man, Dan Vilceanu, who is the PNL Secretary General, said on Friday that he had received no official documents to summon a meeting of the National Politic Bureau or of an Executive Bureau sitting. He also said that no document with signatures asking Florin Citu’s dismissal had been presented so far.

Vilceanu added that if the PNL president, Florin Cîțu, “considers that he has to resign, he will give it”.

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