Udrea suggests referendum for new Bucharest law

Tourism Minister and Democrat Liberal Bucharest leader Elena Udrea suggested the organisation of a public referendum for the new planned administration law of the city and snubbed criticism of the draft law, saying that the project is “legitimate and useful.” The draft law, initiated by a Democrat Liberal MP, grants enhanced powers to the city’s General Council, which would get more members and would handle the city’s budget. The council would also be in charge of appointing district mayors, which are currently elected by popular vote.

The proposal angered several district mayors, who demanded that the public be consulted over the matter in a referendum. Udrea, who is believed to have plans to run for capital mayor in 2012 elections, defended the project, underlining that it simplifies decision-making processes and reduces bureaucracy. “Those who oppose this project do it because they have inhabited their role as ‘Bucharest barons,’ who have their own ‘back yards’ and who think nothing can remove them from their posts,” Udrea said. She added that the law would assure a more correct distribution of funds to each district, saying that at the moment there are big differences between budgets, District 1 getting six times more funds than District 5, although the latter has more residents. “When the debate ends, we have to go in front of Bucharest residents and ask for their opinion. Such a decision must not necessarily be made by vote. So I propose the organisation of a referendum for the adoption of a new capital law. Because I don’t want this to be regarded as a discretionary political action and because Bucharest residents deserve to be informed of the capital’s real problems and what we can change for the better,” she wrote on her blog.

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