Romania’s senior ruling party, the Social Democratic Party (PSD), headed by Liviu Dragnea, abandoned plans to hold a massive, 100,000-strong rally in Bucharest on May 22, four days ahead of the elections for the European Parliament.
PSD secretary general Codrin Ştefănescu said that the party would not hold the rally as it didn’t want to block traffic in Bucharest, according to Mediafax. PSD leader Liviu Dragnea said on Thursday afternoon that he was the one who decided to cancel the rally as the party's leaders should focus more on communicating with their voters in the week before the elections, according to Digi24.ro.
However, some local media commented that the party's regional leaders were not happy with the idea of a rally in the middle of the week, which would have made it very difficult for them to bring enough supporters to Bucharest. PSD will, however, hold a smaller rally in Targoviste, a small city in south-central Romania where the party expects to find more support among voters than in Bucharest.
Radio Free Europe informed that PSD's initial plan was to hold a big rally on Sunday (May 19) in Victoriei Square. The event was scheduled to take place one day after the event organized by the main opposition party (National Liberal Party, PNL), where president Klaus Iohannisis is also expected. Then Stefanescu came up with the idea of a rally at Romexpo center on May 22.
The hostility received even in the fiefs they traditionally dominated and the rising split between Dragnea and prime minister Viorica Dancila have visibly hurt the campaign of the Social Democrats ahead of the May 26 European elections. The outcome of the referendum called by President Iohannis, beside the results in the elections for the European Parliament will have a major impact on further developments within PSD.
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