Sources: Liviu Dragnea’s plan if the referendum were valid
Several sources from within the SDP told G4Media.ro that, had the referendum been valid, as some opinion poll announced it would, the SDP leader Liviu Dragnea would have been preparing to launch his presidential candidacy shortly after announcing its results. According to the sources, an alleged opinion poll conducted by the institute led by Mirel Palada showed a SDP growth in polls and confidence in Dragnea of over 40% . Under these circumstances, on the one hand, party leaders would have asked Dragnea to run for president. On the other hand, after a possible referendum success, they would have removed the dissidents from the party, sources told G4Media.ro.
Dragnea’s plan to run for president was publicly revealed by one of the party dissidents. On September 19, Gabriela Firea said that „Liviu Dragnea is preparing for a presidential candidacy next year. The candidacy was not decided in a statutory forum but was discussed in the party.” It is not clear whether Firea referred to discussions about this plan which was linked to success in the referendum, or discussion about another plan.
At the end of June Sociopol released a poll in which confidence in Dragnea appeared to be only two points behind Tariceanu, whereas all internal party measurements indicated that the SDP leader collapsed in polls below 10%.
On the significance of the referendum the SDP leader declared as follows: „On October 7, we want to hold a referendum for the family. From my point of view, this is a turning point for the Romanian people. This is not a game, and here I want to channel all our energies, to support this approach (…) We are not seeking electoral gain from this. This referendum is above parties, it is above electoral interests. This opportunity should not be missed „(Source: Agerpres, September 9)
In recent months, Dragnea’s statements about a possible candidacy have been contradictory. Invited to the „Synthesis of the Day” program on August 5, Liviu Dragnea did not rule out the possibility of running for the presidency in 2019. Asked by Mihai Gadea whether the SDP candidate is on the ballot at the presidential election next year, Dragnea replied: We have several variants for a presidential candidate. When we shall have have a rigorous analysis, without pathos and based on the best chance of winning, we will adopt it and go with it to Cotroceni. ”
The President of the Chamber continued, stating that a possible candidacy for him was one reason why the head of state wants to „destroy him”. „For several months Iohannis has been told that I want to run for president. From that moment on he gave order, starting from Dumbravă, Ciocârlan, Hellvig to Maior and to other members of the parallel state, to have me destroyed. I have not yet made this decision, we have not discussed this possibility within the party. We discussed with Mr. Tariceanu about procedures, not people. We will make the best decision on a candidacy „(Source: Adevarul)
Later, when relations with the ALDE began to deteriorate and he feared he would lose Tariceanu’s support, the SDP leader got back to the theme. After the CEX meeting in Neptun on September 1, Gabriela Firea also announced that the SDP chairman Liviu Dranea announced at the EC meeting that he would not run for presidential elections and said there was a possibility for the candidate Călin Popescu Tăriceanu – ALDE – stating that there were few who applauded at the meeting.
“I can present you with a dialogue. The mayor of Sector 3, Bucharest, Robert Negoita, told the president that all problems stemmed from the fact that I did not say very clearly and explicitly that I am not running for the Romanian Presidency, and that I am considered a danger in this respect, although I said countless times that I am not running for the Presidency of Romania, that I do not want to take over the party either from Mr. Dragnea, or from other people who want to lead the party – and it will prove I was right. Then, the president said that he was not running and that together we would discuss the possibility of having a PSD ALDE joint candidate in the person of Mr. Tariceanu, which I enjoy, but I also want to tell you a great detail: this was applauded by only 2-3 people in the room, „Gabriela Firea said after the CEX meeting in Neptun.
An eventual announcement of Liviu Dragnea’s candidacy for the presidential elections would have taken place in the context of the High Court trial, where an appeal on conviction was filed on October 8 in the file of fictitious employment. The first conviction in the referendum file prevents him from occupying the post of prime minister, but his sentence does not forbid running for the presidency and being elected.
Traducerea: Ruxandra Stoicescu
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