Romania’s prime minister Viorica Dancila, who also took over as interim leader of the ruling Social Democratic Party (PSD) after Liviu Dragnea was sent to jail for corruption, told her colleagues in the party’s parliamentary groups to stop talking publicly about justice, according to internal party sources quoted by Digi24.ro.
She also criticized the policies pursued by Liviu Dragnea, saying that the party has distanced itself from the people. “We must go near the people We must change things now and we also must change things at European level. I will go and have talks there. It would be a pity to be excluded at European level. Stop discussing about justice,” Dancila was quoted as telling the social democrat MPs. She also said that her Government would try to come up with some achievements in the infrastructure area, as people demand investments.
Viorica Dancila, a former member of the European Parliament brought by Dragnea to lead Romania’s Government on his behalf, in early 2018, had visibly distanced herself from the former PSD leader in the months before the European elections. She reportedly resisted Dragnea’s pressures to issue an emergency ordinance for changing the criminal codes, which could have helped him dodge conviction.
She is now trying to fix the party’s image after the categoric defeat in the elections for the European Parliament, where PSD got less than 24% of the votes, down from 45% in the parliamentary elections in December 2016. This is why PSD is trying to distance itself from Dragnea’s agenda on justice, which brought it a lot of criticism internally and at EU level.
“Many consider and I too consider that there has been too much talk about justice. The Government has had many achievements, 73% of the governing program was fulfilled, but the focus and the talks have always been on justice, and I think this is what made the voters unhappy,” Dancila said in a press conference after several internal party meetings on Tuesday, according to News.ro.
She also said that the party would close ranks and keep governing. The PSD leadership decided to name former deputy prime minister Paul Stanescu as executive president, Dancila said. Dragnea’s closest collaborators will reportedly be removed from key positions, according to media reports.
Some party members, including Bucharest mayor Gabriela Firea, suggested that former prime minister and PSD leader Victor Ponta, now the leader of Pro Romania party, should be asked to return to PSD. However, the proposal received thin support and Ponta also rejected the idea. Ponta’s Pro Romania party got a score of 6.7% in the EU elections on Sunday. PSD will likely try to approach Ponta for an alliance in the Parliament as its current majority with ALDE is very thin. Moreover, ALDE failed to reach the 5% threshold needed to send a representative to the European Parliament and is currently considering its options, which include leaving the Government, according to G4Media.ro.
(Photo source: Inquam Photos/Adriana Neagoe)
Romania’s prime minister Viorica Dancila, who also took over as interim head of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) on...