After Lia Olguta Vasilescu announced that she will run again for the Craiova City Hall despite the fact that she is investigated on unconditional bail, being charged with passive bribery and money laundering, yet another mayor with legal problems wants to run for the office held when prosecutors detained him. On Wednesday, Cristian Popescu Piedone, former Bucharest District 4 mayor, filed his candidacy for another term in office, despite the fact that last year he announced he would retire from political life.
The former mayor stated he went through a troubled period and that it was not easy for him to take this step.
“Today I took a step that I didn’t find easy to take: I filed my candidacy for the District 4 Mayoralty. The only ones present by my side were my children: Ana and Vlad, because family has given me the support I needed and the courage to move on. I went through a troubled period that may not be over yet. As a good Orthodox Christian, I am grateful to God that during this whole period I met, in the street, in the park, in stores, people that reminded me what I represent for them,” Cristian Popescu Piedone wrote on Facebook.
The former mayor states that, in recent months, he thought a lot about the way he can restore his honour, and the people of District 4 gave him the answer: he should continue what he started.
“In recent months I thought a lot about who I am and what I am capable of passing on to the community that showed so much confidence in me. I thought about how I can restore my honour as a man. You gave me the answer: we should jointly continue what we started. You told me that you want to take back the mayoralty. You told me that I didn’t let you down and I don’t want to do it now either. Why shouldn’t I put my experience at your service?” the former mayor stated.
Piedone pointed out that “running for office is the constitutional right of any citizen” and that people do not have to take to the streets in order to decide who deserves to be a mayor.
The former mayor also underscored that he is waiting for the judiciary to decide in his case. “I am waiting for the judiciary to have its say. I trust the judiciary. Let us give it room to do its job. Justice is debated in front of judges, not on the street or on television,” Piedone emphasised.
At the end, he explained why he chose to run as an independent candidate:
“You all know me. I was never a party man and I never depended on parties. That is why I’m running as an independent. I am human first of all and I am in the service of the people. We all saw what the parties are capable of,” his message reads.
Cristian Popescu Piedone resigned from the office of Bucharest District 4 Mayor on 4 November 2015, less than a week after the Colectiv nightclub fire tragedy that took place on October 30. Piedone resigned despite initially insisting he had no responsibility for what had happened. At the end of November, he announced his decision to retire from politics, in a posting on Facebook.
Former District 4 Mayor Cristian Popescu Piedone is currently investigated on unconditional bail, in the Colectiv case. He had been placed under 30-day pre-trial arrest on November 7. The decision was not final, Piedone’s lawyers appealed against it and Piedone was subsequently released.
At the same time, the former District 4 Mayor is being investigated for malfeasance in office that resulted in obtaining undue benefits for himself or other persons, and for forgery.