The Central Electoral Bureau (BEC) has validated the candidatures of Klaus Iohannis, Dan Barna, Mircea Diaconu and Kelemen Hunor for the presidential election on Sunday, yet it has rejected to register the candidacy of Miron Cozma, arguing that over 270,000 signatures of the total 309,656 ones were in fact photocopies or had elements of obvious similarity.
BEC said that Iohannis, Barna, Diaconu and Kelemen had met all necessary conditions to join the race for Coltroceni, raising the minimum 200,000 signatures that were needed to submit their bids.
The incumbent President Klaus Iohannis, endorsed by PNL, and Dan Barna, the candidate of USR-PLUS Alliance, have submitted their candidatures to BEC on Friday.
Mircea Diaconu, supported by ALDE-Pro Romania, said he had raised 400,000 signatures and had submitted candidature on Saturday, likewise UDMR’s candidate, Kelemen Hunor, who raised 270,000 signatures.
BEC had also validated the candidatures of Viorica Dancila (PSD) and Theodor Paleologu (PMP) on Saturday.
The last to launch her candidature to Cotroceni was independent Ramona Bruynseels, who submitted her bid on Sunday, endorsed by 280,000 signatures. The wife of Dominic Bruynseels, former GM of BCR and former CEO of First Bank, Ramona admitted he is mainly financially supported by her husband, but also called on the Romanians to bring their contribution. While leaving the BEC HQs, Bruynseels’ campaign team released several white doves to the sky, with the candidate explaining it means “a new chance for Romania”.
Other who joined the race for the President seat are Catalin Ivan, former PSD MEP, Alexandru Cumpanasu, the uncle of the allegedly murdered teen girl in Caracal, Alexandra Macesanu, and Viorel Catarama, initially rejected, but whose candidature was accepted on the last minute following his successful appeal to the Constitutional Court.
Miron Cozma’s candidature rejected, Florentin Pandele withdraws from the presidential race because of his wife
On the other hand, BEC has withdrawn the candidature submitted by the former leader of the Valea Jiului miners, Miron Cozma, on the ground that most of the signatures filed for his bid were fake. BEC explained that over 270,000 signatures of the total of 309,656 filed by Cozma were in fact photocopies or had similarities.
Previously, BEC had also rejected the candidature of Viorel Catarama for Presidency, but on Monday the Constitutional court has admitted Cataama’s appeal against the denial of his candidature and thus BEC is now compelled to accept his bid for the presidential elections in November.
BEC had rejected Catarama’s candidacy by annulling over 94,000 signatures for having presenting similarities. In retort, Viorel Catarama has accused BEC of “acting as a political actor”.
The deadline for submitting bids for the presidential election was Sunday, September 22, 24:00hrs.
Florentin Pandele, the mayor of Voluntari and husband of Bucharest general mayor, Gabriela Firea, has announced that he is stepping aside from the presidential race, although he had raised over 250,000 signatures, claiming he doesn’t want to harm his wife who is back at the PSD helm and who is managing the ruling party’s electoral campaign.
Another PSD member, Liviu Plesoianu, who intended to run as an independent, has also announced he is not running for Cotroceni anymore for he could not raise the necessary number of signatures. He claimed he had received in the past hours lists of copied signatures from some people who wanted to compromise him.