After Theodor Paleologu and Silviu Prigoana, it is now the turn of another Democrat-Liberal to announce his intention to stand for election as mayor of Bucharest in 2012. MEP Cristian Preda said on TV, at the end of the week, that he wanted to run against sitting Mayor Sorin Oprescu. ‘Nothing will prevent me from joining such a competition, as long as I have PDL’s support’, Preda said, according to Mediafax. In a blog post, Preda criticises Oprescu, saying that, using the ‘independent under USL’s logo’ formula, ‘the doctor is playing the part of the <slightly pregnant> young lady’. However, the MEP recognises some progress having been made, given the fact that, ‘in 2008, the current mayor played the comedy of independence, campaigning with the help of PSD who did not support their candidate, Cristian Diaconescu’. ‘Now, in exchange for the <new independence>, he is giving a helping hand to the bogglers of USL who have found no candidate for Bucharest. But so often the pitcher goes to the well until it breaks’, Preda says.
Asked about his opinion on Cristian Preda’s intention to run in Bucharest, PDL President Emil Boc said ‘the decision will be made by our colleagues in Bucharest, after the necessary sociological analyses are made’. ‘If he has a good position in the opinion polls, Cristi Preda can be a candidate’, Boc said. PDL Secretary General Ioan Oltean in turn said Preda’s idea was ‘a very good thing’ and pointed out that the person who would represent the party would come out from internal polls. On the other hand, Oltean said at the Summer School of the Democrat-Liberal Youth in Eforie Nord that, in order to win 2012 elections, PDL would have to win the City of Bucharest.
What Oprescu wishes
After prolonged hesitations, current Bucharest Mayor Sorin Oprescu finally announced at the weekend that he would run as an independent candidate, but with USL’s support, therefore the logo he would like to have is ‘Independent candidate Oprescu Sorin Mircea supported by USL’. ‘I am running as an independent, something I have actually been for over three years, with USL’s support. (…) I have discussed at least twice with the co-presidents of the alliance (Ponta and Antonescu – our note) and they assured me that it is going to be like that if it happens – a programme-based partnership. The development programme I am going to present to the people of Bucharest which they are welcome to improve and complete’, Oprescu said. On the other hand, he excluded the option of standing for election on behalf of PDL for reasons of ‘biochemical incompatibility’.
According to the Friday Adevarul daily edition, Sorin Oprescu ‘is wasting EUR 9 M from the public budget on the three-year lease of a building it initially refused to buy for EUR 11 M. The headquarters of the City Hall moved two years ago because the class I seismic risk building needed urgent consolidation. The quoted source says the Municipality is paying a monthly rent of almost EUR 250,000 plus taxes and other charges normally payable by the landlord for the 14-storey tall building, property of SC Iliotomi Grup SRL, company owned by Greek businessman Tsesmetzis Antonios. ‘With the EUR 9 M which will be the total rent for the three years, the Municipality would have built its own headquarters’, real estate specialist Radu Zilisteanu told Adevarul. As for the deal closed by the Municipality, Zilisteanu says ‘it lacks all possible economic spirit’.