Tensions at the ruling party’s top meeting: Bucharest mayor asks for the Interior minister’s resignation over August 10 protest


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Bucharest mayor Gabriela Firea, also PSD vice-president, has lashed out against Interior minister Carmen Dan for the way the intervention during Diaspora rally has been handled on August 10, also revealing that her relation with the Social Democrat Party’s chairman Liviu Dragnea is tensed.

Firea has even asked for Carmen Dan’ s resignation, but the Social Democrat leaders have vetoed her proposal. PSD has convened for the National Executive Council (CExN) in a seaside resort on Saturday.

Firea has accused the Interior minister she wanted to prove that the responsibility for the August 10 events belongs to the Bucharest Prefect, Speranta Cliseru, a close friend of Firea, also accusing Carmen Dan that she is spying on her and on the people close to her and that she had been staging the incident where the Bucharest prefect had been admonished by a citizen at a restaurant.

More precisely, Firea has stated that minister Carmen Dan had come to the CExN meeting with a file containing “copies of SMS and WhatsApp conversations, private conversations between the prefect and a secretary of state.”

Minister Dan has not replied to what I had said. She came with some copies of WhatsApp conversations, printed copies of some private talks between the Prefect and some gentlemen about the protests. I asked her is she is spying on us. She has a personal problem with me and with the Prefect, she offended the Prefect,” Firea stated.

I understand the solidarity to a certain extent, but it is not normal that we are sympathetic when something is not right just to say that this way we are giving ammunition to the Opposition.

The gendarmes must defend the buildings of the institutions, but still there are things to blame in the coordination of the August 10 action. I don’t think what happened today in the party is good, if I were Carmen Dan I would have stepped down,” the Bucharest mayor said.

The mayor of the Capital says that there are concerns in Brussels over the intervention of the riot police in Bucharest during the Diaspora rally and that the EC President Jean Claude Juncker might refer to the protests of August 10 during his speech on September 18.

“I talked to the European Commissioner Corina Cretu, who recounted me a discussion she had with the EC President Juncker and other European commissioners, who voiced their concern on the political situation in Romania, that what happened on August 10 is not appreciated by the other European states. The gendarmes’ intervention has been correct to a certain extent, meaning in defending the Government’s building, but they agreed that gentler measures should have been taken, meaning the extraction of the violent protesters from the crowd, not using tear gas against all protesters. The commissioner allowed me to reveal in the CExN all these concerns and that it is possible that on September 18 Juncker refers to the protest of August 10 in his speech. It’s not a comfortable situation for our country, it’ s not easy to see a negative perception being delivered abroad about our country,” Firea argued.

Tense relation with Dragnea

At the same time, Gabriela Firea admitted that her relation with Liviu Dragnea „is tensed” at the moment and that there is a „breach” between them because the PSD chairman wouldn’t “give up” the Interior Minister Carmen Dan. In her view, it depends a lot on Liviu Dragnea to solve the situation.

Questioned why she hadn’t asked Dragnea to step aside from the PSD’s helm during the party’s meeting, Firea replied that they are always reproaching her she is a newcomer in the party.

She opined that PSD has lost of its supporters and that something needs to be done.

Carmen Dan, Dragnea retort

In retort, Interior minister Carmen Dan has said that the situation has been solved by vote, referring to Firea’s request for her resignation, adding that she can collaborate with the Bucharest City Hall without any problems, as it is about institutions, and not about individuals.

In his turn, PSD chairman Liviu Dragnea replied that he doesn’t agree Gabrieal Firea’s discontent against Carmen Dan, but he can understand it. He blamed the mass media for misinterpreting some statements which would conclude that prefect Speranta Cliseru is accused in this case.

Carmen Dan has quoted again today from the regulations and laws. She has never said that the Prefect would be guilty,” Dragnea said.

Party elections in 11 branches, including Bucharest

The PSD Executive Committee decided also to have party elections in 11 PSD branches, led by interim leaders, among them PSD Bucharest, managed by Gabriela Firea since February 9, 2016. The branches are: Botosani, Suceava, Cluj, Alba, Brasov, Braila, Timis, Iasi, Giurgiu and Sibiu, plus Bucharest.

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