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The effects of Stanescu’s resignation. How does Dragnea manage to always be…

The effects of Stanescu’s resignation. How does Dragnea manage to always be two steps ahead?

Paul Stanescu’s resignation from the Ministry of Development, a week after the party’s decision to replace him, has determined the winner in this new Iohannis- Dragnea clash. The PSD’s leader has, once again, won an important round. There was a slight chance for a different outcome, but it was contingent upon a lot of ifs. If Stanescu had resisted, if the putschist had convinced more MP’s to vote for the motion, if Dancila government had fallen, if Dragnea had lost the control of the majority, if …Too many ifs.

Klaus Iohannis has lost yet another round, showing again that, when he decides to play he lacks something rather essential: flair and political skill.

From now one, things are clear. With Stanescu out of government, away from the piggy-bank at the Ministry of Development, with Firea and Tutuianu put on a dead-end track and paralyzed administratively, Dragnea has neutralized his internal rivals one-by-one. It is hard to believe that now, after having been stripped of their power, the putschist will still convince anyone in the party to follow them. The PSD leader has thus secured his majority government. Henceforth, the motion of no confidence touted by the opposition has little chance of passing.

And then, why would Calin Popescu Tariceanu betray him? What reason would he have to move away now from the PSD? Still more, the lifting of the ALDE leader’s immunity is now at Dragnea’s goodwill. The Microsoft investigation has tied him ever more closely to El Lider Maximo, though he is aware that at his side, his plans of running for president are quickly collapsing.

But the most important takeaway is that, with Stanescu’s resignation, Dragnea regains once more the full control over the government, if Olguta Vasilescu gets installed at the Ministry of Development. From the moment Stanescu and Sova have resigned, Iohannis has been left with a narrow margin of maneuver. He will be able to postpone, for a while, the appointment of the new ministers, but he won’t be able to avoid it altogether.

I have already pointed out to what the real stakes of replacing Stanescu from the government are. Viorica Dancila is losing one of the last supporters who encouraged her to maintain a trace of autonomy vis-à-vis the PSD leader, at least on the subject of the emergency decree(OUG) for amnesty and pardon. Hence, the path for adopting the decree is now open, despite all the assurances by the PSD leader that there will be no amnesty or pardon on December 1 or around this date. But who’s kidding who. This is Liviu Dragnea’s only important goal, a two-step plan G4media.ro has already written about at length, a plan that could be put in motion until January 1st, 2019 when Romania will be taking over the presidency of the EU Council.

Beyond this date, it will be much more difficult, though not impossible, for the government to adopt the decree on amnesty and pardon. Therefore, there is little time left for the PSD leader to take a decisive action. The winter holidays represent an ideal period for blowing-up his criminal files by pushing this nuclear button. For in this period, the capacity of the population to mobilize and put out a reaction is close to nil, as is the capacity of our external partners to react.

In the recent days, Dragnea has once again projected the image of a leader who masters the game of power, especially after the Court of Appeal’s decision to dismiss the five-judge panel at the High Court. The PSD leader is somehow always two steps ahead of everyone else. Besides his Israeli advisers, besides the help from the criminal intelligence service, besides his formidable predatory instincts and his indisputable political prowess, which he, unfortunately, puts in the services of misguided ends, besides Buscu and other crafty counselors, besides the friendly TV stations, besides the legal services he’s now being offered in plain-sight by the Minister of Justice, Tudorel Toader, someone else is helping him efficiently tackle so many open battlefields inside and outside of the party; someone who means more than a handful of people.

Who is this someone? Who has made their services available to the PSD leader and helps him always win, despite finding himself in an impossible situation, when all, sometimes, seems lost? How does he manage to always stay two steps ahead?

Traducerea: Ovidiu Harfas

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