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Update: PSD leaders summon new Executive Committee sitting on Friday. Letter requesting Liviu Dragnea to step down – revealed

The PSD Executive Committee members have decided to summon a new sitting, following the open letter signed by some leaders of the party, requesting Liviu Dragnea’s resignation from the top position and from the office of Chamber of Deputies Speaker. The Executive Committee sitting is scheduled on Friday, September 21, the PSD press bureau informs, capital.ro reports.

More than 25 PSD leaders, members of the Executive Committee, have signed a letter requesting chairman Liviu Dragnea to step down.

Social-democrat leader, Liviu Dragnea, said on Monday the position of party chairman “cannot be taken over by force, but by vote, and cannot be traded on the market.”

The letter was released to the press on Wednesday. Main ideas:

  • PSD is governing for one year and 9 months, good economic results, record level of state revenues, wages, pensions, social assistance, subsidies have increased. Low level of unemployment;
  • Yet, PSD is falling in opinion polls to 25-30%. Chairman Liviu Dragnea’s support is of 7-12%, much below the party’s level, the most disputed political leader in latest years in Romania;
  • PSD’s situation – weak political opposition, social movements against it, growing more radical, increase of polarization of the society;
  • It is our duty to analyze the situation and decide on the needed decisions to put an end to these tendencies, to consolidate the party’s structures to win the European Parliament and presidential elections next year and the local and general elections in 2020.

Causes of the current situation:

  1. PSD and its government are involved in internal conflicts. The way the three candidates for the office or PM and the ministers were designated – without any criteria for a performing governance. Censure motion against our own government, ministers replaced without explanations – negative elements. The PSD Congress in March did not improve the functioning of the party;
  2. PSD is in constant war on several fronts: Romanian President, political parties in opposition, SRI, SPP, Public Ministry, DNA, civil society, etc.;
  3. Public agenda has been taken over by topics such as corruption, changes in the judiciary, the ‘parallel state’, SRI cooperation protocols, which have overwhelmed the results of governing. Poor communication strategy of the party;
  4. All positions expressed regarding the ‘parallel state’, abuses of judiciary on the basis of illegal protocols between SRI and various institutions – were countered on the idea that PSD acts in its own interest, for the benefit of some leaders of their acolytes. All PSD initiatives were attacked as being steps made to serve the PSD leader, Liviu Dragnea. It can thus be said, without reserves, that the PSD leader has become, with his legal vulnerability, an obstacle for adopting such regulations;
  5. The rallies against the government and PSD, mainly those in the winter of 2017 and the recent one, in August 2018, have contributed to the polarization of the society and to the development of an aggressive attitude against PSD from some segments of the society. The protests scheduled in September and October will deepen the crisis of confidence in the party. Given this context, the adopting by emergency ordinance the decisions regarding amnesty and pardon would generate huge protests that could, most likely, lead to the fall of government and PSD losing governance;
  6. The promotion in the Government, Ministries, Agencies, other public institutions of persons with obvious professional deficiencies, incapable of communicating correctly, by using arguments, on the governance issues;
  7. Foreign mistrust in PSD, given the perception that the institutions of the rule of law are under attack, as well as the judiciary. PSD was unable to explain abroad its legitimate reasons regarding the reform of justice system and the ceasing of violations of the rights and fundamental freedoms of citizens by the ‘parallel State’;
  8. Liviu Nicolae Dragnea’s law vulnerabilities have become the party’s major vulnerability, the main element attacked by the opposition and by parts of the civil society, a source for distrust;
  9. The discretionary leadership of the party, the transformation of the leading structures (the National Permanent Bureau, the Executive Committee) into forums validating the decisions taken in a limited format, the de facto abolition of the National Council and of the party departments, the lack of internal debate in the political and parliamentary structures.

The signatories propose the following:

  1. The immediate resignation of Mr. Liviu Nicolae Dragnea as party chairman and from the office of Chamber of Deputies Speaker;
  2. The interim PSD leadership to be ensured by Mrs. Viorica Dăncilă, executive president, until the organization of an extraordinary Congress early in 2019. Democratization of the internal party life;
  3. Keeping the PSD-ALDE coalition, the only guarantee to continue the governing programme. Negotiations with UDMR, national minorities, independent MPs regarding support for the government;
  4. The improvement of governance by consolidating the Government team. The Gov’t agenda should be focused on public investments, support for the business environment in view of maintaining the pace of economic development;
  5. Support for the large infrastructure, cooperation between the Gov’t and local public administration;
  6. Speeding up the initiation and progress of the projects of mobility infrastructure;
  7. Unconditional support to adopt and enforce the new pensions law;
  8. The elaboration of a coherent plan to streamline the social assistance system;
  9. Properly preparing the Presidency of the EU Council, which should bring an improvement of Romania’s image and of the governance at international level.
  10. Increasing the cohesion of parliamentary groups and adopting in this parliamentary session the package of laws on justice, the laws amending the Criminal Code, the Criminal Procedure Code, the Code of Civil Procedure; the national security laws, the Administrative Code, but also the legislative initiatives needed to implement the measures adopted by the PSD National Executive Committee on September 1, 2018; the off-shore law; the legal framework on the legal status of incompatibilities and conflicts of interest. Parliamentary groups will unconditionally support the PSD-ALDE government and will reject any censure motion filed by the opposition;
  11. The adoption of a law on lobby;
  12. The amending of the legal framework on exploitation of natural resources to maximize the benefits for Romanians and ensuring an attractive environment for investors;
  13. Adopting a legislative initiative on amnesty and pardon, after a broad consultation and debate with: Ministry of Justice, CSM, ICCJ, Magistrates’ Associations, UNBR and civil society. Reform of justice and criminal policy can succeed, by being accepted by the society only to the extent that we are convince it that they are made in the interest of protecting the fundamental rights and freedoms of citizens;
  14. Firm condemnation and taking of all necessary measures to prevent the interference of intelligence services or groups of unlawful interests in the act of justice;
  15. Support for the national referendum to review the Constitution on October 7, 2018;
  16. Support for the Gov’t on budget rectification;
  17. Support for local authorities by allotting financial resources, the adoption of the code on public finances;
  18. Drawing up a coherent electoral strategy to ensure the party’s preparation for the elections in 2019;
  19. The improvement of relations with international partners and regaining confidence in Romania and in PSD. We must become again viable partners for dialogue within the European Socialists Party and the Socialist International.

About Victor Lupu