President of the Save Romania Union (USR), Nicusor Dan, announced on Sunday that he submitted a complain to the Permanent Electoral Authority (AEP) by which he rejects several accusations on the illegal financing of the party and of the Save the Bucharest Union, and by which he also requests the revocation of the Authority’s decision of not reimbursing the amount of RON 152,291.96.
“All the kind of accusations appeared in the public space, rumors related to an alleged illegal financing of the Save the Bucharest Union and later of USR. (…) For the local elections, when USR candidate in Bucharest, we asked the reimbursement of approx. RON 650,000, which money we spent in the electoral campaign. AEP reimbursed approx. RON 500,000 to us, but it didn’t reimburse approx. RON 150,000 for four reasons – I made a complaint for each of these reasons” Nicusor Dan stated on Sunday, in a press conference held at the Parliament’s Palace.
He stated that a first item refers to the amount of RON, collected through online donations.
“They were collected through a platform made by an association, and AEP reproached to us that the donations come from this association, although it was only the intermediary, and secondly, that this association perceived a fee. In our opinion, there’s nothing illegal. The financing came from Romanian citizens, the association used only the interface for which it perceived a fee – nothing is illegal. There were approx. RON 20,000 on invoices that didn’t contain sufficient elements – according to AEP, but these are formal issues, I mean there were sufficient elements to see who performed the service. And another RON 20,000 – one of our colleagues who inadvertently transferred the money into the campaign account of the Bucharest municipality where he wasn’t running, instead of making the transfer into the campaign account of the District 1, where he was running for the Local Council of the district. We didn’t touch these money, we even announced AEP that we will not use them” the USR leader detailed.
According to him, besides these things, it has been told in the public space that the money came through the personal accounts of the candidates. “This is what the law provides, it is an absurd provision, but this is what the law provides. The law says that parties are not allowed to collect money from donors in the electoral campaign. Candidates must collect the money and transfer into the campaign account, this is what we did. It has also been told that we received money from abroad. Yes, of the several thousands of people that especially donated online to us, there are probably 10-20% living abroad, but the law allows to ay Romanian citizen to finance the electoral campaign of a Romanian political party, either he lives in Romania or abroad, so there’s nothing illegal”, Nicusor Dan stated.
He also referred to a donation personally received from abroad.
“There is a donation of 90,000, there is a transfer of RON 70,000, but there are more donations and more transfers to the campaign account. The total amount of money that came for the campaign were used for the campaign, the total amount of money that came for the pre-campaign were transferred into the pre-campaign account. Unfortunately, the law doesn’t stipulate what happens in pre-campaign with financing electoral pre-campaigns, and AEP didn’t have access to the documents in the pre-campaign. This is the explanation. It has been also told that for the online donations we have the copy of the ID card without the signature. Obviously that since it is an online donation, there is no signature of the donor, there is the signature of the person from the party who checked that the donor is the same with the person from the ID card”, Dan explained.
Referring to the information appeared in the public space according to which for the amount of RON 215,000 paid on Facebook, USR doesn’t have documents, he underlined that AEP reimbursed the spent money.
“Facebook doesn’t issue invoices like the invoices in Romania, Facebook issues a statement of account. There is a company for Europe headquartered in Ireland, and it provides sufficient supporting documents, but not under the form of the invoices to which we are used in Romania. AEP reimbursed the money we spent for this amount, so it appreciated that the Facebook payments are legal. It has also been told that I and my colleagues didn’t submit the statement of assets and interests. Last year, I submitted 6 rows of statements of assets and interests” Nicusor Dan stated.