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February 5, 2023

Udrea will not be running for Mayor, President or PM office

The Minister for Regional Development and Tourism admits there is a phenomenon of fraud, accounting for 50 pc of public acquisitions.

Appearing, yesterday, as a guest on a show on ProTV, the president of the Democrat Liberal Party (PDL) Bucharest organization and Tourism Minister Elena Udrea denied any intention of running for presidency, Bucharest Mayor of the prime-minister office.

Udrea added that PDL would find a suitable candidate, mentioning the likes of Silviu Prigoana, Liviu Negoita and Sulfina Barbu as potential PDL candidates for the General Mayor’s office. Udrea stated loud and clear that she would not be running for Bucharest Mayor to counteract the National Liberal Party (PNL)’s “furious campaign” against her and against the Bucharest Bill.

She did not preclude the possibility that PDL should back a candidate who is not, at present, a member of the party, that is, a representative of the civil society or a business entrepreneur. In response to a question, she argued that 2014, the year of the presidential election, could be a woman’s year, if the suitable woman candidate is found. When asked whether she would be running for president, she answered in the negative. At the same time, she replied in the negative when asked whether she would be running for prime-minister.

The leader of PDL Bucharest claimed she had wanted to become a minister so as to be able to go beyond political speeches and actually do something for the people. In this context and commenting on allegations to the effect that, once appointed in office, some dignitaries start wearing expensive clothes, Udrea argued she had got into politics with a certain level of wealth. “That’s how I was when I got into politics: I had a Mercedes, designer bags and high-heel shoes. I did not get into politics at 30 and then started getting these things. I already had them. On the contrary, I could say I was a bit better off before (…) from a financial point of view, of course,” Udrea added.

On the premier and coalition…

At the same time, Udrea dispelled all rumours regarding a potential replacement of the prime-minister Emil Boc, stating that, at the moment, there was no talk of replacing the premier and that there has been no discussion, in concrete terms, of a government reshuffle. On the other hand, when asked whether she would agree, in the event that Mugur Isarescu would accept the prime-minister office, with Emil Boc’s “retiring” at the party, Elena Udrea said that, in theory, this could be a solution, that there was a response from the central bank governor and that it did not matter whether she would agree or not.

Furthermore, Udrea gave assurances that the Government would not lose its backing in Parliament, that everything was going smoothly in the coalition and, moreover, that it was unlikely that PDL should lose the elections and relinquish the power after 2012. The minister argued that PDL was on an ascending trend, having risen from 13 pc last autumn to 22-25 pc now, while the opposition coalition, the Social Liberal Union (USL) dropped to 50 pc.

Irregularities found in four projects on axis 2

According to Udrea, attempts to fraud auctions are quite common, and the minister admitted that, in this context, “over 50 pc” was “a percentage that could be reached”. She added that this consisted in a practice of attempting to direct some public auctions to certain companies.

“This is not to say that these attempts always succeed,” she argued. When asked to comment on EU funded-projects potentially affected by fraud or in which irregularities were found, Udrea replied: “There are some we are currently looking into. Out of 13, there are, at the Ministry of Regional Development and Tourism, four projects in which irregularities were found, as regards legal procedures, projects related to Axis 2, for the rehabilitation of county roads.”

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