So the PNL has found its scapegoat: Nicusor Dan.
Alina Gorghiu, the disastrously poor leader of the PNL who just over 12 months ago had Romania at her feet, this morning declared that Dan will be ‘solely’ responsible for dividing the anti-PSD vote when Bucharest votes a new mayor in Sunday.
Gorghiu’s craven statement comes after a weekend of horse-trading which at first looked as though it would pay dividends. Catalin Predoiu, the PNL’s candidate for mayor, had made noises on Sunday suggesting that he would do the right thing and withdraw from the contest, handing his eight or nine per cent of the vote to Dan. Other non-PSD candidates – particularly Robert Turcescu – would have come under increasing pressure to do the same, making the contest a two-horse race between Dan and the PSD’s Gabriela Firea.
Alas, it was not to be. Predoiu – who never wanted to stand for mayor in the first place – was forced to withdraw his offer by those in the PNL who continue to recognise that their man is currently running a poor third (with Turcescu breathing down his neck in fourth).
The PNL wanted to commission a poll (done in house) that would no doubt have placed Predoiu second, ahead of Dan, forcing the latter to withdraw. Dan wanted no such thing. Only an independent poll, fully audited, would be acceptable. The PNL refused, Gorghiu’s outburst followed.
A few things:
– The idea that Nicusor Dan will finish behind Catalin Predoiu on Sunday is ridiculous. We would expect Dan to take around double the number of votes as Predoiu.
– The only reason Gabriela Firea will become mayor of Bucharest on Sunday is because the election is being fought over just one round. And who is to blame for that? The PNL. A PNL which, in cahoots with the PSD, waved the current electoral law through parliament.
– Throughout the campaign (which, as we reported a week or so ago, has barely warranted the name) the PNL has made Nicusor Dan the target of almost all its attacks. Firea – and other PSD candidates – have had a free ride. The PNL has had not a single word to say about Robert Negoita, the mayor of Sector 3 who has been charged with tax evasion and who – it was revealed on Sunday – plagiarised his entire doctoral thesis*.
– In Sector 4, the PNL’s candidate Razvan Sava has been openly campaigning with Cristian Popescu Piedone, the scumbag former mayor of the sector, forced out of office amidst much scandal following the fire at Colectiv.
– Firea will be able to do very little without a majority on the city council. As such, given that the mayoral race itself is a foregone conclusion, it is still crucial to make sure you go and vote for the general and sector councils: ideally for the USB 🙂
PS The USB is still looking for observers to ensure that votes on Sunday night are counted in a correct and proper manner. You can sign up here. Note: You do not need to be eligible to vote in Bucharest in order to observe the count.
*The story of Negoita’s thesis is fascinating. It would appear he copied word for word from another thesis that was itself copied en bloc.