National Liberal Party’s Bucharest branch leader and District 1 mayor Andrei Chiliman said yesterday the ruling Democrat Liberals are trying to push forth provisions in the Bucharest draft law through a series of amendments filed to the local public administration law in Parliament. “Let me show the indubitable proof of the fact PDL and Elena Udrea (e.n. PDL Bucharest leader) are trying to have the Capital Law passed through the back door, a law meant to turn Bucharest into Udrea’s fiefdom,” Chiliman said, showing a list of amendments filed to the 2001 local public administration law by PDL Deputies. He explained that the amendments include the exact same controversial provisions as the Bucharest draft law does: elimination of elected district mayors and local councils and replacement of elected district mayors with deputy mayors to be appointed by the city’s General Council. The amendments also imply that all administrative duties would be held by the Council and that the city would have a single budget, also controlled by the Council. “What PDL is after is clear for any Bucharest resident – access to the entire financial resources of the city,” Chiliman said, quoted by Mediafax. He added that the final end of PDL is to subordinate the entire administrative apparatus.
Chiliman also said that PDL is thus trying to avoid the referendum initiated by the Liberals in order to ask Bucharest residents if they agree to the new administrative law for the city.
The referendum was initially scheduled for May 19 and was to include seven questions, but this proposal was not accepted by opposition members of the City Counil and General Mayor Sorin Oprescu. During talks between the General Mayor and representatives of all parties on the Council, it was decided to postpone the referendum by a week and reduce the number of questions to three or four. More talks were to be held yesterday before a final vote in the Council today. Meanwhile, press reports suggested that district mayors and Council members are no longer so keen on holding this referendum, as it would imply high costs for the city and the result would not actually prevent the Bucharest law from being enforced. “They (e.n. Council members) said that if one were to openly admit [to not being interested in the referendum any more], the others would support him. But nobody wants to come out and say it first,” sources told ‘Adevarul.’