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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
07BUCHAREST1061 2007-09-14 15:04:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Bucharest
Cable title:  

GEOANA AGONISTES: PSD DELAYS NO-CONFIDENCE MOTION

Tags:   PGOV PREL RO 
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PP RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
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ZNY CCCCC ZZH
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FM AMEMBASSY BUCHAREST
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7327
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					  C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BUCHAREST 001061 

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SIPDIS

STATE FOR EUR/NCE

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/14/2017
TAGS: PGOV PREL RO
SUBJECT: GEOANA AGONISTES: PSD DELAYS NO-CONFIDENCE MOTION

Classified By: Polcouns Theodore Tanoue for 1.4 (b) and (d)



1. (C) PSD head Geoana has announced that he will postpone
by a week the introduction of a no-confidence motion in the
Tariceanu cabinet. However, new fissures have appeared
within the PSD, with former Prime Minister Nastase openly
calling for adoption of a collective PSD leadership system
and former President Iliescu continuing to grumble about
Geoana's shortcomings. Even erstwhile allies including party
spokesman Diaconescu have begun to back away from Geoana;
Diaconescu told the DCM that Geoana had blown a big
opportunity to form a new government under a PSD Prime
Minister by insisting that he had to be Prime Minister.
Meanwhile, the PNL appears loathe to throw Geoana a lifeline,
and has insisted that it would rather take its chances with a
no-confidence vote rather than to offer any new concessions.
End Summary.



2. (C) Citing the need to finalize the text of a
no-confidence motion and to "respect" the election of a new
Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church, PSD President
Mircea Geoana has announced that he will delay by a week his
self-imposed deadline for tabling a no-confidence motion
against the Tariceanu cabinet. While insisting that it was
out of the question that the PSD would back away from
introducing the motion, Geoana left open the possibility of a
last-minute accommodation with Tariceanu's PNL through the
inclusion of PSD ministers in a reshuffled cabinet.



3. (C) Geoana's gambit has exposed new splits in the PSD.
Former Prime Minister Adrian Nastase in a Rompres interview
September 13 evinced unhappiness with his party's disarray
under Geoana's leadership and has proposed that the PSD adopt
a collective leadership structure comprised of the heads of
the various factions of the party. While Nastase's bid to
return to the party limelight was quickly repudiated by PSD
Secretary General Corlatean, Senate President Vacaroiu and

SIPDIS
others, former Transportation Minister Miron Mitra piled on
by calling for an urgent session of the PSD's National
Council in order to decide a common party position on the way
ahead. Perhaps most ominously for Geoana, former President
Iliescu has continued to tell the press that he is
"infurated" with Geoana's earlier press remarks that the
individuals in the PSD who were opposed to the no-confidence
vote were those--like Nastase, Mitrea, and Iliescu--who were
being investigated by prosecutors. While Geoana tried
subsequently to walk back his comments, the harm had been
done.



4. (C) Even erstwhile allies now appear to be deserting
Geoana. PSD spokesman Cristy Diaconescu told DCM that Geoana
had blown a big opportunity in June to come to terms
politically with the PD and to form a new government under a
PSD Prime Minister. While Basascu had made it clear that it
was impossible for him to appoint Geoana to the post after
having led the suspension episode against him last spring,
Geoana had insisted that he had to be Prime Minister or there
would be no deal. Diaconescu said that this had been a
selfish choice--and the wrong one--and while Geoana had
scrambled to undo the damage within his party, his hand was
now much weaker and his political future was now in the hands
of others.



5. (C) Diaconescu opined that it was unclear which way the
no-confidence vote would go, but was clearly unenthusiastic.
He acknowledged that both Iliescu and Senate President
Vacaroiu had forcefully argued against the motion at a PSD
executive meeting, and party leaders and rank and file
supporters were concerned with what scenarios might come in
play should the censure motion carry. He noted that party
bosses at the local and regional levels were concerned about
the no-win, no-glory cohabitation with the Liberals, and even
the inclusion of some PSD ministers in a new cabinet would
benefit a few PSD individuals only and not the entire party.
Diaconescu added that cohabitation with the PNL would only
expose the basic incompatibility between the two parties and
that their divergent political programs would come into
sharper relief as the electoral exercises got under way in
November and continued through next year. He concluded that
"the mamaliga (the Romanian word for polenta) was exploding".




6. (C) Comment: More twists and turns will likely ensue, but
there is every indication that Geoana's gambit may have
backfired. While intended to pressure Prime Minister
Tariceanu into new concessions as the price for continued PSD
support, the ploy has instead exposed the fissures within the
PSD's own ranks. Geoana had earlier abandoned the reformist
"Cluj Group" in order to enlist the support of party seniors
including Iliescu and PSD Chamber of Deputies Whip Viorel
Hrebenciuc, and it appears that he has now alienated both old

BUCHAREST 00001061 002 OF 002


and new allies alike. Iliescu and other party seniors are
now trying to sideline Geoana, and the wily Hrebenciuc has
kept a conspicuously low profile in recent days. In a
September 12 conversation with the DCM, Nastase likened
Geoana's no-confidence gambit to a surgeon who makes an
incision without having decided what kind of operation to
perform. He predicted that the motion would never be
introduced that that the PSD might instead table a budget
resolution that would provide a face-saving recipe for
declaring "victory". Meanwhile, the PNL appears to be
ill-disposed to provide Geoana any sort of lifeline. Speaking
on behalf of his party in a press interview September 14, PNL
Deputy Crin Antonescu remarked that given that the PSD was
itself in a "deep crisis" his party preferred to take its
chances with a no-confidence vote rather than offer any
further concessions to the PSD. End Comment.
TAUBMAN