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March 3, 2021

Skirmishing between right-wing candidates for the Bucharest City Hall, at peak level

Predoiu blames pro-PSD pact: Real-estate interests behind Firea and Nicusor Dan


Catalin Predoiu, National Liberal Party’s (PNL) candidate for the Bucharest City Hall, stated on Tuesday that a pro-PSD political pact is taking shape, not an anti-PSD one as he had proposed, pointing out that real-estate interests are behind the PSD and USB candidates, giving as an example the way in which the Social Democrats bought their party headquarters on Kiseleff Boulevard.

“A week ago, I proposed an anti-PSD political pact. What I see taking shape is a pro-PSD political pact revealed by the concerted or at any rate interestingly in-sync actions of the PSD and USB candidates. We made this proposal of good faith because we no longer want yet another corrupt PSD management that would stop the city’s development. (…) What we are seeing is the two USD and PSD candidates leaving the field of debate, avoiding risky clashes, and, what is much worse, a concerted action against the PNL candidate,” PNL’s Catalin Predoiu stated at a press conference.

Catalin Predoiu stated that “it seems” Nicusor Dan is a left-wing politician, not against the system as he claims.

“From this moment on our paths are clearly separate, my path is the same, on the Right, toward Europeanism, toward Bucharest’s development. Unfortunately, it seems Mr. Dan’s path is on the Left. He misinformed us when he said he is neither a left-wing nor a right-wing politician. He seems to be a left-wing one because this is the only explanation for the fact that he has obstinately refused the political proposal to endorse a single candidate,” the Liberal added.

He pointed out that his goal in the following days is to explain to Bucharesters that “special interest groups are behind the two candidates, groups that are keeping them captive.”

“The same mafia we see at the helm of PSD, presided by people with legal problems, some of them convicted in criminal cases, the real-estate special interest groups in Voluntari-Ilfov, are behind Ms. Firea,” Predoiu stated.

He launched an appeal to his main contenders.

“I am asking both Ms. Firea and Mr. Dan what are their obligations toward their campaign contributors. I invite them to clarify before Bucharesters to what extent they will be mayors free of obligations toward campaign members, campaign financiers who have special interests, real-estate deals that publicly are real-estate investors,” Predoiu emphasised.

He announced that in the following days he will offer details on the way the Social Democrats obtained their party headquarters on Kiseleff Boulevard.

“I’ll give you a commonplace example, because I received complaints from citizens, I’m studying them and I might come up with details in the following days: the way they obtained their party headquarters in Kiseleff, and the interests surrounding this transaction,” Predoiu answered when asked to give examples of PSD’s real-estate interests.

“I have a collaboration contract with a law firm that has no link with any member of my family. I was an individual practitioner in 2012,” the Liberal answered when asked whether he has had contracts with the Bucharest City Hall.

Catalin Predoiu replied that Nicusor Dan should discover the things he did not know about the Panama Papers.

“Maybe Mr. Dan will discover the things he did not know last evening on television when asked about the Panama Papers. He said he will look into it – I wish him good luck. The Americans have a saying – follow the money and you’ll find out many things,” he concluded.


Nicusor Dan: Law firm owned by Predoiu’s father-in-law has contracts worth millions of Euros with City Hall


The law firm owned by Catalin Predoiu’s father-in-law has contracts worth millions of Euros with the Bucharest City Hall, signed during Sorin Oprescu’s tenure, and the PNL candidate is giving PSD an extra chance to win, Nicusor Dan, USB’s Bucharest City Hall candidate, stated on Tuesday.

“Voters who don’t want PSD winning Bucharest have to know that I never attacked Catalin Predoiu. He has been doing it since he entered the elections campaign. His latest accusation, concerning an alleged deal between me and Gabriela Firea, is a despicable lie. I said on many occasions that I will not reach any kind of deal with PSD, the most corrupt party in Romania. I wanted to reach a form of agreement with PNL, in order to unify right-wing votes, but Catalin Predoiu is the main obstacle in the path of any collaboration. His candidacy is not disinterested. According to a Court of Accounts report, the law firm owned by Catalin Predoiu’s father-in-law has contracts worth millions of Euros with the Bucharest City Hall, signed during Sorin Oprescu’s tenure, contracts that are acting precisely against the interest of Bucharest,” Nicusor Dan posted on Facebook on Tuesday.

He attached to the posting a press article that presents a Court of Accounts report that shows that in 2014 the Bucharest City Hall paid over RON 21 M to 11 law firms, on the basis of a one-year framework agreement signed in August 2013. Zamfirescu, Racoti & Partners is among the law firms concerned.

“Mr. Predoiu is accusing me of collaborating with PSD, while the same law firm ran public contracts when Victor Ponta was Head of Government. Catalin Predoiu has no place being at the Bucharest City Hall. He is harming PNL and, as long as he remains in the electoral race, he is giving PSD an extra chance to win the Bucharest City Hall. I am the only candidate who never reached and will never reach a deal with PSD,” the USB candidate emphasised.


Liberal candidate denies any link with father-in-law’s law firm


Against the backdrop of the accusations levied by Nicusor Dan, Predoiu stated on Tuesday that he has nothing to do with his father-in-law’s law firm, stating that for details about the contracts signed by Oprescu the USB candidate should ask the latter for clarifications.

“In regard to this deceitful accusation according to which I allegedly have interests connected to the Bucharest City Hall, I inform Mr. Dan (who at the same time claims he is not attacking me) that I never worked as a lawyer for the City Hall, I have no link with the law firm concerned, and for any questions about Mr. Oprescu’s tenure and the contracts he signed he should ask and attack Mr. Oprescu, Mr. Ponta and PSD, which backed Oprescu,” the Liberal retorted.

“Nicusor, try to attack PSD, it won’t hurt you! Change your character!” Catalin Predoiu posted on Nicusor Dan’s Facebook page.

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