Catalin Cîrstoiu refuses to withdraw his candidacy for Bucharest mayor seat

Social Democrat Robert Negoita, the District 3 mayor, willing to replacing Cirstoiu.


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Cătălin Cîrstoiu is defying calls to withdraw his candidacy for Bucharest City Hall, despite indirect pressure from coalition leaders. He told Evenimentul Zilei that he will not withdraw from the race for the chair of general mayor of the Capital, even if Marcel Ciolacu asks him to do so. “I’m not withdrawing. Don’t expect anything like that from me,” said the director of Bucharest University Hospital.

“Not even if Mr. Marcel Ciolacu asks me to. Because I wasn’t the one who looked for a candidate in the Capital and ended up with the Cătălin Cîrstoiu option, and, as I said before, I didn’t ask anyone for anything in this regard“, he added.

PSD leader and PM Marcel Ciolacu asked Cîrstoiu on Wednesday to hold a press conference to address integrity accusations before Coalition leaders proceed with their endorsement.

PNL chairman Nicolae Ciucă has also publicly told Cîrstoiu to organize a meeting with the journalists, where he would answer all the accusations brought against him.

Yet, last night, Nicolae Ciucă told on Digi24, that if the doctor Cătălin Cîrstoiu is withdrawn, both the coalition and the PNL have backup plans. We have plan B, we have plan C,” the Liberal leader said. As much as I would like to unveil a plan right now, I won’t, but if needed, the PNL, in an extreme emergency situation, will have its own candidate, no problem.”

PSD Bucharest President, Gabriela Firea, said on Thursday that the situation of the candidate supported by PSD and PNL for the Capital City Hall, Cătălin Cîrstoiu, would be discussed in a meeting of the coalition, this weekend or Monday morning.

Asked about a possible withdrawal of Cătălin Cîrstoiu’s candidacy or about the organization of a press conference in which Cîrstoiu would answer the accusations brought against him, Gabriela Firea specified that the subject would be discussed at the coalition meeting.

“It has been announced that the Prime Minister is returning to the country tomorrow. Certainly on the weekend or Monday morning we will have a meeting at the level of the governing coalition, where this topic will be discussed, in addition to other political issues. And certainly will make a decision that will be announced later in an appropriate framework, in a political framework (…) I cannot speculate (in relation to a possible withdrawal – n.r.), before the leaders of the coalition, the presidents of the two major parties , to discuss when the prime minister returns to the country”, stated Firea, in a press conference.

Robert Negoita, “willing” to replace Cirstoiu in the race for Bucharest city hall

Amid all discussions, the mayor of District 3 of Bucharest, Robert Negoiță, announced on Thursday that he is willing to run for the Capital City Hall instead of Cătălin Cîrstoiu, if PSD and the alliance ask him to do so.

Negoiță told Realitatea Plus on Thursday afternoon that he had several discussions with the government on the subject and that “he no longer opposes a nomination from the alliance”.
“Bucharest has suffered from underdevelopment in the last 4 years and we must fight with all our might for Bucharest. If the party will do it, I will not refuse again, although until now I have always refused. We had several discussions, even on Monday, at the government, but I don’t want to give details. I am no longer opposed to a nomination from the alliance, so I would be willing to be the PSD-PNL candidate. There were discussions, including in the alliance, it is not a decision made, there will be more discussions. These are not decisions that I make, but I am just showing my willingness to run for the alliance. I wasn’t involved, but unfavorable analyzes were presented to me, because that’s why we kept meeting to find a solution to the Cîrstoiu problem”, said Robert Negoiță.


Backstage gripe in PNL

Dissatisfaction related to Cîrstoiu incompatibility scandal was heard even from leaders of the National Liberal Party in last night’s leadership meeting. The former president of the PNL, Theodor Stolojan, warned over the doctor’s situation, namely that this whole scandal will fall not only on Bucharest, if the doctor does not come with clarifications regarding the suspicions of incompatibility, but also on the party.

“It’s kind of a mushroom farm … 6 clinics and that kind of other facilities where, simply, the medical records that do not involve a lot of expenses are directed to these private clinics, and the medical documents that involve a lot of health expenses are directed to the state hospitals… So, in my opinion, if the doctor does not come out in the next few days to clarify all these issues very clearly, it will be the bane of the entire election campaign and that will be the concentration at the level of the entire country. We’re already seeing what happens with his delay in clarifying these issues. And the impact will be negative not only for Bucharest,” Stolojan reportedly said, according to Digi24.

Health minister suggests affidavit

When asked about the case of Dr. Cîrstoiu, the Minister of Health Alexandru Rafila, PSD member, said that “there should be an affidavit from the doctors in the hospitals that they do not refer patients to the private sector.”

“I don’t know if we will be able to eliminate it (the practice of sending patients to private clinics – ed.), we will try to do these things applied and in a way that makes doctors responsible. I think that a declaration should be made on the personal responsibility of the doctors who work in public institutions, regarding this aspect, that they do not refer patients”, said Alexandru Rafila on Thursday.

“Some sanctions must also be established that can be applied on the other side as well, and we will soon introduce this in the performance criteria of the managers, it is about the way in which the work schedule is respected in public hospitals”, he said PSD minister. “Because a doctor working in a public hospital must work for at least six hours, and completing up to 7 hours is done through one or two shifts, depending on the health unit,” the minister added.

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