Elections in the local administration are scheduled for June 5.
The National Liberal Party has nominated a new candidate for the race for Bucharest Mayor: the leader of the Bucharest party branch, Catalin Predoiu. The Liberals’ first choice however was MEP Cristian Busoi, who was shortly replaced by Ludovic Orban, the vice-president of the Liberal Party, whom everyone saw as favorite to win. The latter, however, had to withdraw his candidacy and renounce all positions, including that of vice-president of the Chamber of Deputies, in light of a corruption investigation in his name.
The next man to be nominated was Marian Munteanu, the leader of the students’ movement against the political leaders installed after the 1989 Revolution. Munteanu has also pulled out from the race, denying accusations that he was an informer for the former political police, the Securitate. The current candidate, Catalin Predoiu, says that if he is elected mayor, he wants to solve all the major issues of Bucharest by 2019, when Romania will take over the rotating presidency of the European Union.
Catalin Predoiu: “I take full responsibility and pledge to make the most of my energy and ability to secure the win for the National Liberty Party, a win for the right wing in Bucharest. Let us not forget that in 2019 Bucharest will be the capital of a country holding the presidency of the European Union. By that time we seek to implement a strategy to modernize and develop the city”.
At the other end of the political spectrum, Gabriela Firea, the representative of the Social-Democratic Party, officially filed her candidacy on Wednesday, announcing her campaign would focus on the challenges facing the youth and on solutions to raise the living standards of Bucharesters.
Gabriela Firea: “I want a civilized and open campaign. I will take part in debates focusing on the major issues in Bucharest and on the solutions we have at our disposal. If the people of Bucharest vote me as their mayor, they will be able to see concrete results within months, because some decision can be taken right away. We don’t need to wait years on end to see living standards improve in Bucharest”.
The Social-Democratic Party isn’t free of internal turmoil either. Party leader Liviu Dragnea expects a ruling on Friday in an investigation where prosecutors accuse him of having used his nationwide influence to swing the vote of the 2012 referendum on the suspension of the then president Traian Basescu.
(Translated by Vlad Palcu)