The leadership of the Romanian Senate was undecided on Monday afternoon as the main opposition party, the Social Democrats (PSD) called on Senate speaker Mircea Geoana to withdraw from the second top job in the Romanian state. The PSD group in the Romanian Parliament later announced it withdrew its political support for Geoana and that it proposed Titus Corlatean, PSD vice-president and head of the Foreign Affairs Committee, to take over the seat of Senate Speaker.
During a recent trip Mircea Geoana - a member of the PSD and a former presidential candidate - paid to the US, several PSD senators had requested the political support for Geoana as Senate speaker - be withdrawn, but at the time the proposal did not find enough support within the party.
According to the Romanian Constitution, the Senate speaker would take over as head of state should the President be suspended or find himself unable to stand up to his duties.
PSD leader Victor Ponta announced on Monday afternoon his party was proposing Titus Corlatean instead of Mircea Geoana as Senate speaker and that Geoana should take over Corlatean's duties ad head of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee. Ponta said the position of Senate speaker should be taken by an opposition Senator.
Geoana commented for his part that the PSD call was "deeply mistaken, a major strategic mistake" and suggested he would not give up the Senate speaker job by himself.
PSD legal experts say Geoana's replacement as speaker can be accomplished based on a 2005 decision of the Constitutional Court that says the PSD group in the Senate has the right to withdraw its nomination and make another.