Ex-President Traian Basescu to run for Bucharest mayor, furious for being ruled out of right-wing alliance

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The People’s Movement Party (PMP) chairman Eugen Tomac has officially announced on Tuesday that former president Traian Basescu (founder of PMP) will run for the Bucharest City Hall on behalf of PMP. Tomac has slammed the PNL-USR-PLUS decision to expel PMP from the negotiations for Bucharest. “It will be USR to take credit for Nicusor Dan’s defeat”, Tomac argued.

“We have initially not intended to have a separate candidate, but we’ll go with Traian Băsescu in order to gain political capital to enable us to have our own political voice. It is out option. As long as the arrogance of the others has prompted us to this situation, nobody can accuse us now anymore. It will be USR to take credit for Nicusor Dan’s defeat”, Tomac told Digi24.

Traian Basescu himself has recently warned he would run for the Bucharest mayor seat if PNL – USR-PLUS did not shake hands with PMP for common candidatures in the Capital city.

As for the agreed right-wing candidate, Nicusor Dan (proposed by USR and endorsed by PNL), he said today that he voiced hope that PMP will eventually give up the idea of having a candidate to break the votes of the right-wing alliance.

USR, who has opposed to PMP’s being co-opted in the alliance for Bucharest, has argued that Traian Basescu’s past and PMP’s political games and votes next to PSD in the local councils across the country had weighed a lot in the decision of leaving PMP out of the negotiations in the right-wing alliance.

Traian Basescu, who served as President of Romania for two terms from 2004 to 2014, was also mayor of Bucharest from 2000 to 2004, being mostly famous for reduction in the number of stray dogs roaming freely through the streets of the Capital city, despite harsh criticism of those who oppose large-scale dog euthanasia. However, his tenures as mayor, and as president were marked by constant conflicts and scandals, including an impeachment attempt from the position of Romanian President.

In June last year, the National Council for the Study of the Securitate Archives (CNSAS) released documents provided by the Romanian Intelligence Service, saying that Traian Băsescu had been recruited by the Securitate communist political police as informer in 1972, under the code name “Petrov”, and that he had started reporting on on his colleagues since his freshman year. According to the law 187/1999, the status of Securitate collaborator has to be confirmed by a Court of Appeal.

On 5 September 2019, in the first hearing before the Court of Appeal, Băsescu admitted writing the memos published by CNSAS, using the name “Petrov” at the request of Colonel Tudor from the military counterintelligence, but he denied having been an official collaborator of the Securitate (with a signed agreement), mentioning that he also filed other reports to his employer (the former Romanian shipping company “Navrom”) under his real name.

On 20 September 2019 the Court of Appeal Bucharest ruled that Traian Băsescu officially collaborated with the Securitate. Băsescu stated he would appeal against the ruling.

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