Last preparations are taking place in the PDL backstage ahead of the publication of its list of candidates in the local election in Bucharest. While the Democrat-Liberal are extremely secretive about the candidate for mayor of Bucharest, the party still taking all sorts of measurements to identify the person who can beat Oprescu, when it comes to the sectors of the Capital things a bit clearer. Mediafax quotes party sources as saying that Nicolae Ontanu, Liviu Negoita, Cristian Popescu Piedone and Cristian Poteras will be PDL’s candidates for mayors of sectors 2, 3, 4 and 6. ‘For sectors 1 and 5, we are still waiting for poll results. A poll done for the mayor of Bucharest returned Silviu Prigoana in the first positions, but a new one is going to be done so that we can establish all our candidates before March 15’, the sources said. The information has been confirmed by PDL Vice-President Elena Udrea who said that the names of sector mayor candidates would be disclosed in the following period by her party. ‘We have agreed on our candidates in all sector, in Bucharest. We will introduce them shortly, with an adequate strategy. (…) We have a major chance to win at least one more sector (PDL now has the mayors of two sectors – our note),’ said Elena Udrea. The former tourism minister avoided giving any names, just saying they were all members of the PDL Bucharest Organisation. ‘Let’s hope you will still have a few surprises with us. I can’t tell you who they are, because we have a strategy for the launching of candidates,’ she added.
Alliance with Becali in Bucharest
This weekend, after a meeting with PDL Bucharest president Elena Udrea, PNG President George Becali announced his decision of allying with the Democrat-Liberal in the local election in Bucharest. ‘We have already entered a coalition for the Capital, with the Bucharest Organisation’, said the MEP. He also said he knew who the PDL candidate for mayor of Bucharest was going to be, saying that the person is not the one he would have liked it to be. ‘I cannot disclose to you the surprise Mrs Udrea mentioned. My choice would have been Negoita. However, it seems that there is another person in a better position in the polls than his. It’s a PDL member, actually an outstanding PDL member’, Becali said.
Raed Arafat vs Oprescu?
Although the Democrat-Liberal keep their candidate for mayor of Bucharest a secret, latest rumours have indicated several names, the most recent one being Health Under-Secretary of State Raed Arafat (photo). The ‘Evenimentul Zilei’ journalists claim the SMURD founder, a technocrat with a high popularity rating among Romanians, would be the only person capable of defeating Sorin Oprescu in election. Dr. Arafat could run as an independent candidate for mayor of Bucharest, however backed by PDL and UDMR. But the idea of Arafat’s candidacy in Bucharest is not new. On January 17, immediately after the scandal about his resignation as undersecretary of state had been over, PDL Senator Mihaela Popa was saying that the doctor would make a very good candidate, ‘maybe even the challenger of Dr. Sorin Oprescu’. Apart from that, EVZ journalists say that Arafat is ahead of Oprescu in all opinion polls conducted in Bucharest, and that has made PDL leaders consider more seriously the option of having him as their candidate. It is still to be determined if the Democrat-Liberal can convince Raed Arafat to join the race knowing his position and repeated statements that he would not enter politics.