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March 24, 2023

Battle for Oprescu’s chair: Potential candidates for the Mayoralty of Bucharest

Sorin Oprescu’s arrest resets the race for the Mayoralty of Bucharest and gave hopes to parties that they might be able to win the position of Bucharest’s top official.
Thus, after Sorin Oprescu was arrested, parties started making calculations and seeking the adequate candidates to win the Mayoralty of Bucharest, at the local elections of 2016.
The Social-Democrat Party (PSD) wants their own candidates and there are already a few names being circulated, PNL has several competitors who had joined an internal struggle, but rumours have also suggested the possibility of a candidate from outside of the party, and the National Union for Romania’s Progress (UNPR) could support Cristian Popescu Piedone. People’s Movement Party (PMP), as well, could join the battle for the chair of Mayor, and rumours have appeared about Traian Basescu’s name.
PSD and UNPR have started to think about solutions on a powerful politician that could represent them for the battle on Bucharest.
Interim President of PSD, Liviu Dragnea, declared on Monday that his party had the possibility to name a candidate of their own, otherwise, PSD could no longer call themselves “a big party” and the analyses to establish the candidate would start as soon as possible.
Dragnea announced that opinion polls and sociology studies would be performed, and that there are already two names being mentioned in the party: Robert Negoita and Ecaterina Andronescu.
Asked on Monday whether District 3 Mayor Robert Negoita could be the candidate of PSD for General Mayoralty, Dragnea avoided to give a straight answer: “We do not have a solution today, we are not throwing names, we will reach the decision based on serious sociological researches. The one who will be placed on the highest position will be supported by the party.”
A surprise might also come from behalf of UNPR. Cristian Popescu Piedone recently announced that he would run for a new term at the District 4 Mayoralty, yet, it is not out of the question that he might change his mind and run for the General Mayoralty.
PNL thinks that they have a huge chance to win the Mayoralty if Oprescu is dismissed. There is already an internal race in the party led by Blaga and Gorghiu for the candidacy at the General Mayoralty, already joined by Cristian Busoi, Ludovic Orban, Costica Canacheu and Petre Roman. Yet, nothing is firmly established.
Moreover, Eugen Nicolaescu discussed on Monday a potential candidate outside the party PNL might support. According to sources inside the party, Nicolaescu’s statement has caused discontentment among party members, especially from behalf of competitors who had joined the internal race.
The Popular Movement Party (PMP) could have their own candidate as well. Traian Basescu’s name has been mentioned, yet, the ex-President denied such hypothesis. Nonetheless, he made a suggestion: “At this time, I am not interested to return to the Mayoralty of Bucharest”, Basescu declared. He added, nonetheless, that a proper candidate for the Mayoralty of Bucharest might be Elena Udrea. Yet, she denied being interested of such candidacy.

Alina Gorghiu: I am not running for General Mayoralty of Bucharest

The Co-President of the National Liberal Party (PNL), Alina Gorghiu, declared on Wednesday evening for the national television station that she was not aiming for the position of General Mayor in Bucharest, mentioning that the potential candidates of Liberals for this position will need to attend an internal campaign in the party.
“I would not hesitate to admit it publicly, whether I wanted to run for this position. I think, though, that the battle for Bucharest requires a highly serious confrontation inside of the party.
I never asked myself whether I should run for the General Mayoralty, but some of my excellently trained colleagues – you were talking about Mr. Ludovic Orban earlier and I would like to remind you Mr. Cristian Busoi and Mr. Petre Roman, who have also joined this internal competition”, Alina Gorghiu added.
She mentioned that she would keep an eye on the internal campaign of PNL, by party Co-President Vasile Blaga’s side, appreciating that the electoral strategy of candidates in Bucharest might undergo changes based on the events surrounding General Mayor Sorin Oprescu, Agerpres writes.
The leader of PNL also declared that the Mayoralty of Bucharest is in a “terrible situation”.
“The situation of the General Mayoralty is terrible, all their payments have been blocked. There are companies subordinated to the Mayoralty, confronted with an unprecedented crisis”, Alina Gorghiu pointed out.
She also mentioned that, technically, the Mayoralty of Bucharest still has Sorin Oprescu as a Mayor and an interim term cannot be discussed until Oprescu’s legal situation is cleared out. In his opinion, the General Mayoralty must be managed by an interim so that citizens would not suffer because of Sorin Oprescu’s arrest.
As for the position of PNL regarding the overtaking of the Mayor’s attributions by Vice-Mayor Cornel Pieptea, the PNL Co-President mentioned that this aspect would be presented when the position of General Mayor would be empty.
“PNL will adopt a position at the time this position will be empty. Based on the logic of the law, obviously, one of the two Vice-Mayors will fill this position. You will find out from PNL whether they would assume the position of interim Mayor at the time we will know whether the position is empty or not.
It would be not only premature, but also slightly obscene for me to talk about the filling of a position that is not empty at this time”, Alina Gorghiu also pointed out.

PNL Vice-Mayor Cornel Pieptea does not want to replace Oprescu as interim Mayor

Cornel Pieptea, the PNL Vice-Mayor of Bucharest announced on Wednesday that he did not want to be interim Mayor and to replace General Mayor Sorin Oprescu, presently under preventive arrest. Pieptea pointed out that the difficult situation experienced presently by the Mayoralty of Bucharest requires complete attention from behalf of the future interim General Mayor, who will have to be present 24 hours out of 24, while Pieptea’s personal situation does not allow such commitment.
Sorin Oprescu, presently under preventive arrest, will be dismissed from his position by the prefect of Bucharest after the Court will issue a definitive decision of arrest for the Mayor of Bucharest.
After Oprescu’s dismissal, the General Council of Bucharest Municipality (CGMB) will decide which of Bucharest’s Vice-Mayors would be assigned the position of interim Mayor, replacing Oprescu.
PNL Vice-Mayor Cornel Pieptea has revealed, nonetheless, that he was not interested by the position of interim Mayor.
“While awaiting the announce of the definitive and irrevocable decision from behalf of the Court in Sorin Oprescu’s case, the group of General Councilors of the National Liberal Party has set as a priority identifying solutions to avoid blocking the activity of the Bucharest Mayoralty.
In case the Prefect issues the order establishing Sorin Oprescu’s dismissal from his position, the General Council will be in the situation to choose, from present Vice-Mayors, the person who will assume the entirety of the General Mayor’s attributions.
“I consider that the position of Vice-Mayor is mostly a technical position, specific to an administration specialist, and this was the spirit I adopted while completing my term.
This is precisely why I have not announced my candidacy in the internal competition inside the National Liberal Party, destined to decide the candidate for Bucharest Mayoralty.
In this direction, I considered that I must confirm my public positions previously expressed, by which I have mentioned that gaining the position of General Mayor is not among my personal interests.
As the difficult situation of the Bucharest Mayoralty imposes the complete attention of the future interim General Mayor, and his presence might be required 24 hours out of 24, I have carefully reflected on my options and I consider that, at this time, due to my private situation, I cannot successfully assume the attributions of an interim General Mayor.
I will discuss with my Liberal colleagues to identify a solution so that Bucharesters could be offered a determined and competent interim General Mayor, whom I will grant my professional support. I am confident that, at the level of the General Council of the Municipality of Bucharest, they will select the most adequate person to respond to the present and urgent necessities of the city”, Vice-Mayor Cornel Pieptea wrote on Facebook.
Under these circumstances, it is most likely that the interim Mayor would be Dan Darabont, the PSD Vice-Mayor of Bucharest.
The magistrates of Bucharest Court have decided on Sunday the 30-day preventive arrest of Bucharest General Mayor Sorin Oprescu, accused of bribe-taking by DNA prosecutors. The decision is not definitive, but it is applicable, and Sorin Oprescu will be carried to the Arrest of Bucharest Police Department.

Sorin Oprescu was retained in the evening of Saturday to Sunday after he was caught in possession of a bribe of EUR 25,000.

Sorin Oprescu’s appeal will be tried by the Bucharest Appeal Court on Monday

The appeal filed by Bucharest Mayor Sorin Oprescu to the decision of preventive arrest in the file he is accused of having received a bribe of EUR 25,000 will be tried on Monday by the magistrates of Bucharest Appeal Court. According to representatives of the Bucharest Appeal Court, the appeal filed by the Bucharest Mayor will be reviewed on Monday, and magistrates will decide whether he would be kept under preventive arrest or not.
The decision reached by the Bucharest Appeal Court on Monday will be definitive.

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