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Romanian former PM Dancila resigns as PSD party leader

posted onNovember 28, 2019

Romanian former prime minister Viorica Dancila resigned as the head of the Social Democrat Party (PSD) late on Tuesday (Nov. 26). Dancila’s resignation comes after she suffered a defeat in the second round of the presidential election on Sunday (Nov. 24) in which incumbent Klaus Iohannis was reelected as the country’s president with 66 per cent of the votes.

Dancila got 34 percent. It was the lowest number of votes ever received by a PSD presidential candidate in a second round over the past 30 years. Dancila, who also served as Romania’s PM until October 10 when the Parliament  passed a no-confidence motion against the government headed by her, said that her resignation was not a sign of weakness but “a dignifying moment ”. 

"I understood my colleagues' opinion, the fact that they want a reset of the party and that someone must take responsibility for the elections result. It is not a moment of weakness, it is a dignifying moment and I believe that I had to resign my position as national chair of PSD" she said after a six-hour-long session of the PSD’s National Executive Committee.

Marcel Ciolacu, 52, the president of the lower chamber of the Romanian parliament, was named the interim president of the PSD until a party congress in February 2020 elects a new leader.

“I want to thank Mrs Dancila, our former chairwoman. It was a mature CEx meeting. We all assumed the multiple errors made in the elections and we concluded a reset of the party is needed, not a slaughter with heads down. Actually no head has been down today, and, as a first, the former leader is part of the party’s women team” Ciolacu said.

Dancila is to take over the leadership of PSD women's organisation. Along with Dancila, secretary general Mihai Fifor and the PSD vice-presidents resigned. 

Founded in 2001 by Ion Iliescu, Romania's first democratically elected president,  PSD has about 500,000 registered members and holds almost half of the seats in Romania's Parliament as well as more than half of the 3,200 mayor positions in Romania's cities and communes. 

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