Romania’s anticorruption quest: Half of the county council presidents and a third of the city mayors are under investigation

An analysis made by the local news agency Mediafax shows the widespread corruption in Romania as well as the amplitude of the country’s anticorruption campaign.

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Over half of Romania’s county council presidents and more than a third of the city mayors that have been elected in office in 2012, have been investigated by the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) and the National Integrity Agency (ANI). Some of them have been convicted and removed from office, others are currently suspended while most are still in office.

Most of these local officials have been investigated by DNA for corruption offenses, such as abuse of office, bribery, influence peddling, and conflict of interests. ANI’s investigations have targeted incompatibilities, such as owning various private firms, or unjustified revenues. Only a handful have received final convictions which forced them to resign.

Some 24 county council presidents, out of a total of 41, have been investigated by the DNA or by ANI in the past years. Most of them (14) are members of the ruling Social Democratic Party (PSD) while 9 are liberals.

Of the 110 mayors that run Romania’s cities (including the six Bucharest districts), 40 have legal issues. Half of them (20) are from the National Liberal Party (PNL), and 14 are social democrats, according to Mediafax. Some of the most notorious cases are those of Bucharest’s District 1 mayor Andrei Chiliman (PNL) and District 5 mayor Marian Vanghelie (former PSD), and that of Constanta’s mayor Radu Mazare (PSD).

The next local elections in Romania take place in June 2016, and some of the investigated officials may run with high chances of being re-elected, according to Romanian media.

Romanian Insider

18 August 2015