4,000 social-democrat delegates have gathered to the Palace Hall (Sala Palatului) on Saturday to the Extraordinary PSD Congress to elect a new leadership – executive chairman, deputy chairmen, secretary general – except for the position of Chairman, which remains for Liviu Dragnea.
PM Viorica Dancila has been elected the executive chairwoman, the no.2 in the party. Dancila has got 2,880 votes, while her contenders, Ecaterina Andronescu and Nicolae Banicioiu, got 541 votes and 292 votes respectively. However, Andronescu and Banicioiu had previously withdrawn from the race.
Marian Neacsu has been re-elected the secretary general by 3,063 votes, while Codrin Stefanescu obtained 668 votes. Both Dancila and Neacsu are considered close to Liviu Dragnea.
The new vice-presidents
Gabriela Firea and Robert Negoiţă (Bucharest-Ilfov)
Carmen Dan and Adrian Ţuţuianu (Muntenia)
Doina Fedorovici and Gabriel Vlase (North -East)
Doina Pană and Gabriel Zetea (North-West)
Roxana Mînzatu and Bogdan Trif (Centrer)
Mirela Furtună and Marian Oprişan (South-East)
Lia Olguţa Vasilescu and Paul Stănescu (South-West)
Natalia Intotero and Mihai Fifor (West).
Dragnea at the end of the Congress: Democratic, correct vote, hints at contesters they should step aside
Chairman Liviu Dragnea said after the Congress that elections had been concluded through a correct and democratic vote, adding that anyone wants to argue that will not be able to do it from inside the party.
“I dont’ want to comment who has run, why he or she hasn’t run (…) My colleagues agreed to get beyond any conditions and anyone who wanted to run has run. It’s a democratic, correct vote, given by any delegate and that’s it. Elections have ended today and anyone wants to debate those things, will not be able to do it from inside the party,” Dragnea stated.
As for Ecaterina Andronescu and Nicolae Banicioiu, who had withdrawn from the race against Viorica Dancila, blaming they haven’t been allowed to deliver their speeches before the vote, Dragnea said that a speech “will not make PSD change its mind” and that “anyone who is known in the party has been known for some time”.
In his speech during the congress, Liviu Dragnea told the audience he will remain in office and lead the party. In the 28 pages speech, he tackled many issues about the relaunch of the governance, the ‘country project’ and other economic and social topics.
“Romania’s sovereignty is more precious that the internal fight for power, this is why we need to protect it with explicit, debated laws and approved by Parliament. (…) Romania needs, in the coming ten years, at least half of the labour force and intelligence that has been lost has to be regained and we assume the idea to meet this need,” Dragnea said.
The PSD Chairman lashed at the institutions of force, “too close to abuse and too far from justice. The press and the parliamentary committees have revealed the illegal and illegitimate way they have substituted the state’s democratic institutions. They have infiltrated people in the political class, in the media, in the civil society. One does not know which voice is true or false. The debates on the criminal codes have led to adversities. The debate will continue and will be approved. It is the modernization of the society. We will do it. The reform of the laws of justice and of the Criminal Codes will further go on according to a strict schedule. The citizens of this country should not be supervised and arrested with no reason. We say rule of law, not the rule of institutions, not rule of some bosses. I ask my colleagues to understand the dimension of the major objectives and that meeting them is more important than a political objective,” Liviu Dragnea said.
The vote for the new leadership started at 13.30h and led to tensions. Outside the Palace Hall about one hundred protesters were chanting slogans against the congress.
The Executive Chairman, Nicolae Badalau, was to be ousted from the leadership, after a critical letter sent to the party’s top people, but it seems he has been assured to receive the position of PSD National Council chairman.
For his position three candidates have initially joined the race: PM Viorica Dancila, Nicolae Banicioiu and Ecaterina Andronescu (photo 2). However, Banicioiu and Andronescu have withdrawn from the race, blaming the congress procedures and that they haven’t been allowed to deliver speeches before the voting started.
When called to the desk to have her speech, Ecaterina Andronescu did not turn up, instead Mircea Rizoiu addressed a tough speech to the congress.
“We decided to leave, because the way the procedures were designed and the fact that I am on the 20th position and the votes have already been casted. It would be absolutely useless. We decided to retire, life goes on,” Ecaterina Andronescu told the reporters at Congress.
In his turn, Nicolae Bănicioiu said he wanted to give in to let Andronescu run against Viorica Dancila, and this announcement was made in front of the delegates, but he was not allowed to. He also stressed that there were problems with the voting.
Viorica Dancila, their counter-candidate, asked about the accusations from the other two contenders they were not allowed to hold their speeches, said they would have their turn.
“I addressed the audience as Prime Minister and chairman of the women’s organisation. The other colleagues will have their say, too. The election does not depend on me, it depends on the confidence they have from the colleagues,” Dancila said.