If PSD leader Liviu Dragnea gets his way, Romania’s new government will led by Sevil Shhaideh.
Nope, we’ve never heard of her either.
However, we understand that she has for many years been a loyal servant of both Radu Mazare (the gangster-like former mayor of Constanta, currently awaiting trial on a zillion counts of corruption) and Dragnea himself. Her only cabinet experience was to serve briefly as Minister of Regional Development under Victor Ponta in 2015. She is, however, Dragnea’s god-daughter. Which in Romania is all the qualification you need. Oh, and at her wedding in 2011 the other godfather was yet another PSD stalwart, Nicusor Constantinescu (currently serving a long prison sentence for corruption).
We imagine that Shhaideh – who would be Romania’s first female, and muslim, prime minister – will be in office only for a limited time. Dragnea apparently has a masterplan that he hopes will allow him to manoeuvre himself into the prime minister’s job by the time the clocks go forward.
As regular readers will know, Dragnea can’t take the job right now because, as a convicted criminal serving a suspended prison sentence for fraud, he is forbidden by law from doing so.
In typical PSD style however, Dragnea views the law more as a pest than anything else: a minor obstacle to be overcome rather than a serious, long-term impediment. So while Shhaideh serves as PM at the head of a groovy gang of Dragnea Yes Men (and women), Dragnea himself will be working hard to change the law that stops him from becoming PM. His majority in parliament will almost certainly allow him to do so.
Indeed, at yesterday’s inaugural session of the new parliament, the PSD (and PNL) marked everybody’s cards when they carved up the parliamentary commissions (in private negotiations at which the other parties were not present).
These are the new parliamentary commissions (the commissions debate and often amend proposed laws before they get to the parliamentary voting stage):
As you can see, the PSD and the PNL have divvied up the most important commissions between themselves, leaving the other parties with mere scraps. The budget commission (which hands out money) is an entirely PSD/PNL affair, as is the justice and immunity commission. Don’t ever try and tell us again that the PNL is an opposition party: it is no such thing. It is a loyal lapdog of the PSD.
(The above document was made public by Nicusor Dan, now a USR MP. With the USR – committed to transparency – now in parliament, this kind of thing is hopefully going to come to light more often).
The assault against the DNA and the justice system in general therefore looks set to be a blitzkrieg operation. Dragnea (who has an outstanding corruption case hanging over his head), the PSD, ALDE and the PNL all want and desperately need to obliterate anti-corruption legislation fast, else large numbers of their MPs face next Christmas in pokey.
Top photo credit: Ziarul National