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Editorial: PSD - cognitive dissonance or a labyrinth of lies

Virginia MIRCEA

During the last months the media and the civil society have drawn more and more aggressive signals concerning the local PSD barons. Starting with the now common accusations of corruption and ranging to those of obtaining academic titles by fraud, these allegations are covering an increasing "area" of the social and political life.

During the last months the media and the civil society have drawn more and more aggressive signals concerning the local PSD barons. Starting with the now common accusations of corruption and ranging to those of obtaining academic titles by fraud, these allegations are covering an increasing "area" of the social and political life.

Of course, a reaction of the governing party was highly expected, as despite its hiding behind the 45% in the polls, the party is obviously worried about its fate this election year. First of all, the image strategists have come up with a "patching" solution: finger-pointing their adversary's yard. Through the voice of Bogdan Niculescu Duvaz, PSD's sacrificed candidate to the Bucharest Mair, it was requested for the Opposition barons to be unmasked, as they are at least as many and as corrupt as those in power.

Unfortunately, it seems that all the information machinery at the disposal of the governing party was unable to produce the necessary evidence in this respect, so that the PNA (The Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office) is still content with investigating the already well-known files of ministers in the former government.

As this first strategy was not at all successful with the mass-media and the restless journalists continued to write aggressively about the "poor" local barons, the strategists took action, in order to save anything left of the party's honor, at least now, on the elections' eve.

By consequence, the presidents of the local organizations in Gorj, Ilfov, Ialomita, Bihor, Caras-Severin, Neamt, Vâlcea, Bucuresti - 5th district, have been suspended. Among these, important names in the party, starting with Nicolae Mischie and Bebe Ivanovici and ending with a very popular leader (at least in his own organization) Florian Serac.

The logics of this suspense? Purely for electoral purposes, of course. In what other way can we translate the simple, yet so sincere words of the vice-president Agathon: "We cannot run for the elections with people suspected of all sorts of things. I think we have acted wisely, given the decisive stake for PSD".

An action that the party very much needed in the perspective of the elections, but which held the risk that, carried through, would throw the party into a true war that was likely to fragment its structure. Everything had to be done delicately, carefully, as not to upset anyone too much. Therefore the local leaders were not excluded from the party, but they were suspended (anyway, according to the party's statute, this was almost impossible, given the fact that such a measure needed the vote of the branches to which they belonged and which support them greatly). Unfortunately, neither the voters, nor the journalists managed to understand what the implications of this type of sanction were. They presumed, based on the words, as sincere as ever, of Mr. Agathon, that the suspended ones will no longer have the right to run for any position. False! Two days after the initial announcement, PSD returns with an irritated statement, announcing that it didn't prohibit anyone's candidateship, besides, maybe, the one of those investigated by PNA.

Obviously, this move, generated by the increasing pressure of mass-media, had to be only a sham that would not affect the big names of the party and, more important, its unity. This is the reason why the above-mentioned image strategists (whose number seems to be constantly growing) have tried to hold to the minimum the media impact of these suspenses, by creating, on the same day, a celebrating event of the young social-democrats, "The social-democrat spring", meant to divert the attention of the mass-media from the too much debated theme, from their point of view, of the party's barons. It seems though that not all the party's members, and more important, not all those sanctioned have approved this cosmetization, even if done delicately. As a result, in a very short time, the clear proof of the fact that party discipline is not, in spite of all appearances, PSD's strong point, has come to light. Bebe Ivanovici moved on to threats: "Let's see what the organization says, how can they afford to take such decisions? They have created PNA to protect their business...They take decisions behind our back?" as the PSD organization in Bihor threat with a collective resignation in case the decision to suspend its leader was not reviewed.

As the communist saying goes "one step forward, two steps back", on a very short term the local barons are put at ease with expressions like "Who will laugh at Bebe's face, will have to answer to us." (Octav Cosmânca - PSD Secretary General)

Therefore all this maneuver is nothing else than another form of "dust in the eyes" of the press and of the voters. That is because, no matter how hard would some party leaders try to dissociate themselves from the PSD's present image of a corrupt clique, the party cannot give up, on the elections' eve, the important resources (first of all the financial ones) that these barons place at its disposal.

In conclusion, the announced "zero tolerance" towards corruption, expression used by the Prime Minister Adrian Nastase, is just another form of redeeming populism, lacking real support. And when the zero tolerance towards corruption and its legitimization (by levying a 90% tax on illegal incomes) appear in the same sentence, we are wondering whether the PSD leaders find themselves in a cognitive dissonance or just in a labyrinth of lies.

Publicat în : English  de la numărul 13


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