Robert Negoita, Mayor of Bucharest’s Sector 3 and one of just two (of seven) Bucharest mayors elected in 2012 who had not yet been charged with corruption, was this morning charged with tax evasion. Specifically, Negoita is alleged to have failed to pay VAT on thousands of apartments he sold during his time as a property developer from 2005-09, an amount totalling 77,148,021 lei precisely.
Incredibly, Negoita appears to have no intention of withdrawing from June’s mayoral election. He said that the charges related to the period before he went into politics, and have no connection to his political career.
In other words: it’s fine to be a crook as long as you aren’t a politician.
Negoita’s party – even if it is the PSD – might well see things differently. We would not be surprised to see the party force his hand on this one.
The saddest thought today however is this: should Negoita somehow manage to stay on the ballot paper come June, there is a good chance that under the one-round voting system he would win, despite the charges against him. The non-thinking, non-questioning pensioners and other expired specimens who vote for whoever the PSD tells them will make it so.