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May 20, 2022

Opposition in limbo over backing Oprescu for Bucharest City Hall

The General Mayor admits he would be “honored” to have the backing of the Social Liberal Union for a new term, however he would rather prefer to run as independent.

The Liberals and the Social-Democrats seem to have different opinions in what concerns backing Sorin Oprescu’s bid for a second term as Bucharest’s General Mayor. Thus, Crin Antonescu, co-President of the Social Liberal Union (USL), claims that PSD and PNL have not agreed on who their joint candidate for the 2012 Bucharest City Hall elections will be. “Like the agreement explicitly says, we have agreed that we may back an independent candidate and that, at any rate, we will have a joint candidate for the City Hall. But there haven’t been any talks, let alone a decision, concerning Sorin Oprescu or anyone else. It’s an open subject,” Antonescu stated yesterday for Mediafax.

Although he is not dismissing such an option from the start, the Liberal did point out that a decision will be taken after Oprescu “offers some clarifications” in what concerns Bucharest’s possible administrative reorganization, given that USL backs keeping the city’s six districts.

PSD President Victor Ponta however seems somewhat more determined. Ponta again hinted that USL will back Oprescu for a new term as Bucharest’s General Mayor. “I bet Mr. Oprescu will not run on behalf of PDL, I have no doubt about it and this disinformation bothers me, just as I think it bothers him,” Ponta stated, being quoted by Realitatea TV. The PSD leader added that in Bucharest USL will stake on “the candidate that fares the best in opinion polls and that is wanted by Bucharesters.” Asked how he plans to eliminate the disagreements between District 1 Mayor Andrei Chiliman (National Liberal Party) and Oprescu and how he will convince USL’s Bucharest branch to fight for the current General Mayor, Ponta answered: “I don’t even know if he wants to run, but if Mr. Chiliman is so badly wanted by Bucharesters then we will surely choose him. For now things look differently. (…) There will be a lot of work to do since there are egos and personal interests that will have to be put in the service of national interest and of USL’s interest to win the local elections.”

On the other hand, Sorin Oprescu admits having had some meetings with the Presidents of USL and expressed his honor for enjoying their future backing. However he pointed out that he would rather run for the City Hall as an independent, just like he did in 2008. “Once again, like I told Mr. Ponta in a very brief, face-to-face and manly discussion we had, I am honored by the fact that following his discussions with Mr. Crin Antonescu he clearly expressed the idea that the alliance is backing my candidature. But I clearly told him that I will enter this race just like I did in 2008: as an independent,” Oprescu stated. The latter also established some of his priorities for a new term, some of which are: completing infrastructure works that include a series of underpasses and overpasses, opening new boulevards, building as many parking lots as possible, continuing to build serious and high-performing medical services centres (hospitals, clinics), rehabilitating the education system.

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