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March 29, 2023

Nomination of Bucharest Deputy Mayor hits “juridical” snags

*PSD and ALDE lose majority within Bucharest General Council

*PMP, ex-president Basescu’s party, remains in opposition


On Monday, the General Council of the Bucharest Municipality (CGMB) took note of Tudor Ionescu’s resignation from the office of Bucharest Deputy Mayor. Ionescu had been nominated by ALDE but resigned on July 11, invoking a press campaign carried out against him “on grounds that have to do solely with my private life.”

The CGMB is yet to appoint a Deputy Mayor in his place, the appointment set to take place after a new majority is formed within the General Council, after the PSD-ALDE majority was called into question following PMP’s merger with UNPR.

PSD lost the majority within the CGMB after PMP, which holds 6 seats within the CGMB, decided to join the ranks of the opposition to PSD. PMP, ex-president Traian Basescu’s party, is not interested in the vacant office, an office that Bucharest Mayor Gabriela Firea (photo) had offered to PMP following their merger with UNPR.

“PMP decided last week to remain in opposition to PSD and Mayor Gabriela Firea and will vote only in favour of projects that will improve Bucharesters’ lives,” PMP Executive President Eugen Tomac stated for Digi24.ro.

PMP councillor Robert Turcescu announced on Monday that the party’s representatives would not nominate a Deputy Mayor for the vacant office and will remain in the opposition.

“We are saying it loud and clear, PMP’s General Council members are and will remain in the opposition. Consequently, we thank Ms. Gabriela Vranceanu Firea for publicly airing the idea that she could have taken into account a Popular Movement Party Deputy Mayor too, at the meeting in which a new Deputy Mayor will be nominated to replace Mr. Tudor Ionescu, but we loudly announce that we will not nominate a Deputy Mayor. During their tenure, PMP’s General Council members will remain in the opposition,” Turcescu stated.

He emphasised that PMP will vote on proposed projects based on their merits.

In his turn, former UNPR President Valeriu Steriu, currently PMP Executive President, stated that the two councillors who were members of UNPR “will be in the opposition to PSD following the merger with PMP, and we are not interested in the office of Deputy Mayor.” The opposition also consists of 15 USB, 8 PNL and 6 PMP councillors, totalling 29 councillors.

PSD has 22 councillors and is in an alliance with ALDE, the latter pushing to 26 the total number of councillors who back Gabriela Firea.

Mayor Gabriela Firea stated last week that she is waiting for PSD to negotiate an alliance with PMP. She argued that the two councillors who were UNPR members and now represent PMP following the recent merger of the two parties won their seats by running on joint lists with PSD, on slots ceded by Social Democrats.

PSD President Liviu Dragnea has announced that in Bucharest his party is relying solely on the votes of the 26 PSD and ALDE councillors.

Bucharest Mayor Gabriela Firea stated last Thursday that the juridical status of the two councillors who are former UNPR members and were elected on PSD-UNPR lists is “problematic.”

“It’s an event that the merger did not anticipate, basically UNPR’s disappearance. We had 22 PSD, 2 UNPR, 4 ALDE councillors. Together we were 28, so a majority of the 55 General Council members. Now basically two UNPR councillors who won their seats by running on the list of the PSD-UNPR alliance, as UNPR members, are in doubt. A juridical aspect intervenes here – to what extent they are losing the capacity they initially held, on election day, and whether this merger is acting for the future, not retroactively. That’s what jurists told me. Basically those running for certain offices will represent PMP, the new party, from now on, but this doesn’t work retroactively,” PSD’s Gabriela Firea explained for Adevarul Live.

Senator Daniel Barbu, ALDE Bucharest President, has stated he continues to claim the Bucharest Deputy Mayor office for his party, pointing out that a PMP Deputy Mayor elected with PSD’s support is “a simple hypothesis” which he does not find likely.

“What I know is that, being in an alliance with PSD, the Deputy Mayor office is allotted to us, with the majority’s support. If this majority no longer exists, we’ll see, maybe a new one will be formed, but I believe the majority will exist,” ALDE Bucharest President Daniel Barbu stated for Mediafax.

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