The leader of Romania’s ruling party (PSD), Liviu Dragnea, asked prime minister Viorica Dancila not to resign and resist the pressures that may appear in this sense after the party’s defeat in the elections for the European Parliament.
PSD got a score of about 25% in the EU elections, according to exit polls, similarly to opposition parties PNL and Alliance 2020 USR+Plus. PSD’s score was much lower than in the parliamentary elections it won in December 2016 (45%) and president Klaus Iohannis asked the party to leave power.
“These are not results that PSD can enjoy, analyses must be made fast and seriously,” Dragnea said after the polls closed and the exit poll estimates were announced. He added that the party’s leaders will decide what needs to be done next and avoided to say he would resign.
One of the party’s vice presidents, Marian Oprisan, asked for Dragnea’s immediate resignation due to the poor score in the EU elections.
However, Dragnea waltzed around this subject and said that the party would organize a national congress in the following weeks to decide its candidate for the presidential elections at the end of this year and its strategy. He also suggested that PSD members should choose between Bucharest mayor Gabriela Firea (with whom he had a conflict last year) and Senate president Calin Popescu-Tariceanu, the leader of junior coalition partner ALDE.
Dragnea also said that he never said he would run for president, although, just daye before the elections, he stated that he would announce the party’s candidate on Sunday evening, prompting speculations that he would run himself. The PSD leader suggested that he can’t run because of a potential conviction as High Court judges are expected to announce the sentence in a corruption case involving him on Monday, one day after the elections.
(Photo source: Inquam Photos / Octav Ganea)
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