The former general mayor could run against Sorin Oprescu for mayor of Bucharest, as increasingly more people in the party endorse his bid.
By Daniela Baragan
Democrats are reading to throw former economy minister Adriean Videanu into the race for mayor of Bucharest against incumbent mayor Sorin Oprescu. According to “Gandul” online, the Videanu alternative is being discussed by the PDL leadership, after an internal poll conducted by the Bucharest organisation headed by Elena Udrea showed the former general mayor of Bucharest <2005-2008> as the only Democrat-Liberal mayoral contender standing a real chance against current mayor Sorin Oprescu, as the other candidates – Cristian Preda, Theodor Paleologu, Silviu Prigoana and Costica Canacheu – would only be able to muster under 50 pc of the expressed votes.
Videanu running for mayor of Bucharest appears to be in sync with the view of several leaders from the Democratic Liberal Party (PDL), who increasingly see him as the best candidate for the job. “Adriean Videanu could be an alterative candidate for the City Hall. (…). We are working on finding the best candidate for the Bucharest general mayoral campaign next autumn, Mediafax quoted PDL Vice-President Elena Udrea as saying, who added that the party runner for general mayor will be announced early next year. According to Udrea, who is also tourism minister, PDL and the National Union for the Progress of Romania (UNPR) will most likely support common candidates in Bucharest mayoral elections. “I have said we will run a joint campaign in Bucharest, in the sense we will support the same candidates. The UNPR has two runners for district mayors, we also have two. Somebody will run on behalf of the PDL, which, nonetheless, won Bucharesters’ hearts in the past and we must be ready to do it again,” Udrea explained. Although PDL Vice-president Sever Voinescu considers Videanu as one of the best mayors Bucharest has had after the 1990 and his infrastructure achievements “surpassed by none”, he said he nonetheless would like to see former culture minister Theodor Paleologu as Bucharest’s next general mayor. Referring to the internal poll cited by “Gandul” online, Voinescu said the National Standing Bureau is yet to tackle the issue, as nominating the PDL candidate for mayor is up to the PDL Bucharest Organisation, a view also shared by Mircea Toader, leader of the PDL deputies, who said: “It is an alternative <Videanu’s bid>, the issue is up to the Bucharest Municipality Organisation, they have to pick the nominee, and Videanu could be a solution. Deputy Silviu Prigoana too is unaware of the poll “Gandul” journalists refer to, yet, he is of the opinion that, if it were true such study was conducted and it showed Videanu to be the best placed candidate, then he should be the PDL candidate.
PDL Vice-President Theodor Paleologu, a former culture minister, described Videanu’s potential mayoral nomination as “interesting”, mentioning that, in 2005, Videanu “proved he could win” <Videanu won the Bucharest mayoral election in the first round by 53.01 pc of the votes cast>. Asked whether the former general mayor would be a redoubtable candidate to him in the PDL, Paleologu answered: “I don’t look at it that way”.
While the views over Videanu’s would be nomination are split, Democrat-Liberal Deputy Cezar Preda holds the view that the profile of the mayoral candidate for Bucharest mayor “must match the anti-corruption issue”. “Yet, we shall see what the PDL Bucharest Organisation decides. The best placed contender is most likely to become the candidate,” Preda said.
Oprescu: “I expect mudslinging, as campaign approaches”
Bucharest Mayor Sorin Oprescu says he fears none of his opponents in the election next year, when he will run for a second term, and says he expects “mudslinging”, as the electoral campaign approaches, referring to information about his supposed involvement in an affair involving medicines and medical equipment. Oprescu blamed the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) as being behind the smear campaign against him. “I cannot explain it otherwise,” gandul.ro quoted him as saying. “This is no mere chance <recent information in the press on his being linked to shady business>, I expect all sorts of mean things going to be told against me, the City Hall case file is at Mr. Morar, Mrs. Macovei and Mr. Morar say that we have the City Hall file,” Oprescu said, who added he is ready to answer for anything he did and signed.Speaking of his potential opponents, Oprescu said he respects them all, yet, the work in the institution he is heading is much too hard for them to cope with. “The entry is free, the exit, helter skelter,” realitatea.net cited Oprescu as saying.