POLITICS

UNPR: District 2’s suspended mayor not to run in local elections

Neculai Ontanu, District 2’s suspended mayor, will not run for a new term in office, the National Union for the Progress of Romania (UNPR) announced on Friday in a press release.

“Mr. Neculai Ontanu has taken the decision to give up the leadership positions he held within the party at central and local levels. Mr. Neculai Ontanu has decided he will not run for a new term as mayor of Bucharest’s District 2,” the communiqué reads.

District 2’s suspended mayor was placed under 30-day pre-trial arrest on March 25, being accused of passive bribery.

Gabriela Firea, Social Democrat Party’s (PSD) candidate for the Bucharest City Hall, stated on Thursday that PSD will back Olguta Vasilescu for the Craiova City Hall, adding that for PSD it is “an honour” to do so and apologizing on behalf of the colleagues who suggested PSD may withdraw its support for her.

Craiova Mayor Olguta Vasilescu was detained by the DNA for 24 hours in a corruption case and subsequently released without other judicial measures. Lia Olguta Vasilescu is accused of four counts of passive bribery, three counts of using authority or influence in order to obtain undue sums of money, assets or other benefits, and money laundering. Subsequent to her arrest, she announced she will run for a new term in the June 5 local elections.

Marian Vanghelie, the suspended mayor of District 5, also hinted he could run in the local elections. He is on trial, remanded on conditional bail, in a case in which he is accused of corruption. According to the prosecutors, in 2006-2014, District 5 Mayor Marian Vanghelie, aided by Mircea-Sorin Niculae and partially by Laura Ciocan, asked and received from Marin Dumitru undue benefits totalling EUR 30.4 M, representing a 20 percent “sales commission.”

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