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Candidate for mayor of Bucharest sparks tension within PDL

Bucharest organisation supports Silviu Prigoana, but PDL ‘intellectuals’ want a candidate that should be ‘the total opposite of Oprescu’, like Macovei or Cristian Preda.

Silviu Prigoana’s decision not to run for mayor of Bucharest for PDL has sparked tension between the leaders of the PDL Bucharest organisation and the Democrat-Liberal intellectuals who had attacked him. While MEP Cristian Preda and ex-Culture Minister Teodor Paleologu have commended Prigoana’s decision not to run, in public statements, MEP Cristian Preda published on his personal blog a letter from the Bucharest organisation of PDL (headed by Elena Udrea – our note), banning any attack on Prigoana. ‘Party <intellectuals> must play by the rules of the political game. (…) Silviu Prigoana is our best rated candidate in the opinion polls. (…) Any attack on the person in the first position in the polls for the purpose of undermining his credibility is an attack on the party and its interests,’ reads the PDL Bucharest letter, posted by Preda on his blog and quoted by HotNews. The tone of the letter is rather tough, PDL ‘intellectuals’ being told that ‘local elections are not won at the library, but in the street where you have to convince people’. MP Cezar Preda, in turn, said yesterday that Prigoana should stay in PDL, arguing that he could obtain a score of 20 per cent in Bucharest. ‘If Prigoana leaves PDL, the party will be in the 3rd or even 4th place after the election in the capital,’ realitatea.net quotes Preda as having said. HotNews quotes PDL sources as saying that Elena Udrea herself tried to convince Silviu Prigoana not to pull out, because the organisation had no other credible candidate to replace him. The sources also reportedly say that there have been some really intense debates within PDL Bucharest over the strategy to be used in the election. Some of the Bucharest Democrat-Liberal, including Cristian Preda, Teodor Banconschi and Teodor Paleologu pleaded for a candidate that should be ‘the total opposite of Oprescu’, someone from the ranks of the intellectuals, such as Monica Macovei or Cristian Preda, who said he was up for the job. They also opposed the signing of a protocol with UNPR for Bucharest, as they dislike any association between PDL and Gabriel Oprea’s party. On the other hand, the leaders of PDL Bucharest, starting with Elena Udrea, support the option of Silviu Prigoana as the candidate for Bucharest, plus a protocol with UNPR. In fact, on Wednesday night, on B1 TV, Udrea said she would not be a candidate for mayor of the capital as rumours had suggested at some point in national media. ‘Beyond any internal preference, we will pursue the options that will benefit from the highest degree of electoral support. (…) I believe that, when the candidate (for Bucharest – our note) is presented, all the PDL members will line up behind him and give him their entire support,’ she said, according to rtv.net. The leader of the Bucharest PDL organisation said the objective was to obtain in Bucharest a score above the national average of the party, ‘meaning a majority on the City Council, the general mayor and a majority in the local councils.’ Yesterday, the PDL spokesman told a press conference that PDL Bucharest would announce its candidates – for mayor of the capital and for the sectors – in the coming days. Voinescu also noted that Silviu Prigoana was ‘a valid candidate, with a robust electoral support’. A first candidate has already introduced himself – Liviu Negoita (PDL), who will stand for election as mayor of District 3 in Bucharest. Also mentioned as a possible PDL candidate for mayor of Bucharest in the past, yesterday Negoita said he wanted a new term in the same sector. Asked if Silviu Prigoana would make a good candidate for PDL in Bucharest, Liviu Negoita said he was a good party member, with great administration skills.

Becali sees himself mayor of Bucharest

So far, Sorin Oprescu – supported by USL – has no redoubtable challenger in the election of the mayor of the capital city. The PDL Prigoana and Udrea options – the only ones that could have given him a headache – seem to have fallen through. His only known competitors are People’s Party president Dan Diaconescu and MEP Gigi Becali who announced on Wednesday that he had registered himself as a Bucharest resident in District 1 to be able to stand for election as general mayor of the capital.

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