The mayor of Ciugud, the commune that lured the most EU funds in Romania, ousted from ruling PSD

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The mayor of Ciugud commune in Alba county, Transylvania, Gheorghe Damian, who lured the most EU funds in Romania, has announced on Wednesday that he had been ousted from the ruling Social Democrat Party (PSD). Damian says he will be independent from now on. The mayor has slammed the way he has been expelled, “at night like thieves”, while being stripped of the right to defend himself.

Gheorghe Damian was vice-president of PSD Alba branch and one of the most long-lasting mayors that the PSD has had in the Alba county, dubbed as the most historically significant region of Transylvania. Damian says that his ousting from the ruling party has been recently Okayed by the party’s central leadership after a request in this regard filed by the party’s county organization a year ago.

The ousted mayor also stated that he would not challenge the decision, that he would remain independent, yet slamming the move, which has been decided “one late night, in a meeting where I haven’t’ been invited and allowed to defend myself”. “I was practically ousted from the party <at night like thieves> (e.n. referring to a famous slogan used by the Romanian protesters in February last year to voice against the controversial GEO 13 amending the criminal law, which had been adopted by the Government at night),” Damian said.

He also slammed the leader of the PSD Alba, Ioan Dirzu, for not having the “guts” to tell him what he is guilty of. Damian revealed that his ousting would have been a barter made by Dirzu in exchange for endorsing the new Government.

Gheorghe Damian is at his fifth term as mayor of Ciugud, a commune which has lured most of the EU funds in Romania in the past years, namely over EUR 27 M, which means around EUR 9,000 per capita.

Damian won the local elections in 2016 by 85% votes.

Ciugud commune is one of the most developed ones in Romania, boasting asphalt roads even inside farmlands, free Internet in public areas, cycling paths and using wind energy and solar panels for the public street lighting system.

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