Tuesday, December 22nd

A Hungarian-born Romanian potential candidate to Târgu Mureş City Hall

A representative of the opposition Democratic Union of Ethnic Hungarians in Romania (UDMR) may become potential canditate as mayor of Romania’s Transylvanian town of Târgu Mureş. Zoltán Soós was the winner of the party elections for the job organised last October as Radio Romania reported on Tuesday. UDMR leader Hunor Kelemen and Zsolt Szilágyi, leader of the Hungarian People’s Party in Transylania (PPMT) have agreed to jointly support Mr. Soós for the position at the local elections scheduled sometime in the summer next year. UDMR „is supporting a competition of all Hungarian Romanian parties mainly taking into account a PPMT proposal expected to unite all Hungarian Romanian voters”, the party said in a statement. However, Mr. Kelemen pointed out that his party would support a joint list of candidates unless PPMT would attend the parliamentary elections next year. Another meeting of the two parties is expected in January 2016. Proecutors of Romania’s anticorruption watchdog, the DNA, opened an investigation against Dorin Florea, current mayor of Târgu Mureş, for abuse of office.

A Romanian senator still under preventive arrest

A Romanian senator will remain under preventive arrest until February 1, according to a ruling issued by Romania’s Court of Cassation and Justice on Tuesday. Dan Şova, a senator of the left-wing Social Democratic Party (PSD), is accused of influence peddling in the case of Mihai Bălan, a former head of the CET Govora, an electricity company in the Romanian southern town of Râmnicu Vâlcea, also under investigation. A bid to lift the immunity of Mr. Şova has fallen short in a parliamentary vote last March. Dan Şova is also involved in a corruption case against former Prime Minister Victor Ponta. According to prosecutors, Ponta forged expense claims amounting to around 39,750 euros during his time at a law firm belonging to Mr. Şova, a political ally and former government minister, using the funds to pay for luxury apartments and an SUV rental. Ponta also appointed Şova as a minister at least three times during his tenure as prime minister, constituting a conflict of interest.

Draft law rejected

Romanian parliament’s lower house rejected on Tuesday a draft law stipulating that mayors or county council chiefs could be removed from office in case they failed to fly the national flag according to law. The draft law came as a proposal put forward by Mircea Duşa, a former Defence Minister. The country’s House of Deputies was the first Romanian institution expected to discuss the issue. Not raising the national flag by public authorities and institutions, or in the mandatory situations stated by the law (Romania’s National Day or other national holidays and official events), is punishable with a fine of between 2500 and 5000 lei, according to a government decision issued in 2001.

A former Bucharest district mayor under investigation

Prosecutors of Romania’s National Anti-Corruption Directorate (DNA) opened a penal investigation into the case of Andrei Chiliman, the mayor of Bucharest’s Sector 1 suspended for his alleged involvement in a corruption case. Mr. Chiliman appeared before DNA prosecutors for hearings on Tuesday. The DNA of Ploieşti, a town some 60 km. north from the capital Bucharest, opened an investigation against Mr. Chiliman who was allegedly involved in a crime network, and accused of receiving around 10-15% of the value of the contracts he signed on behalf of the Sector 1 City Hall with different companies.

Alexandru Danga