Bucharest mayor-elect says he can’t take office because dozens of former and current city hall counselors from the opposition party have challenged his election.
Speaking at a news conference outside the city hall, Nicusor Dan on Thursday claimed that the legal challenges were a ruse for officials to “wipe their traces” and to resolve problems for so-called friends before they left the city hall.
Mr Dan, a former mathematician defeated Gabriela Firea in the Sept. 27 elections winning 42.81% of the vote to her 37.97%. It was the third time he’d run for the post.
The mayor-elect said he was frustrated with the situation, citing problems that need to be fixed in the city of 2.3 million.
”The most urgent are the coronavirus crisis, the heating problem and the financial,” downturn he said.
He said the challenges which prevented him taking his seat mostly came from the Social Democratic Party which lost the seat. Mr Dan was supported by the minority Liberal government and the Save Romania Union.
The former mathematician said most were frivolous or unsubstantiated, claiming for example that there had been electoral fraud.
The challenges were “ridiculous” and written in a “conspiratorial style,” he said accusing Ms Firea of being too “cowardly” to put her name to them, even though she claimed the ballot was rigged against her.
The Appeal Court will rule on 52 challenges on Monday.
“The urgency for the Social Democrats isn’t sorting out the city’s problems, but delaying my mandate.”
He speculated that outgoing officials “need a few days to wipe their traces and respond to their ‘friends’’ requests,” he said.
“They forget that Firea iss still mayor and problems with hot water and heating are her responsibility.”
The Bucharest Court validated Nicusor Dan as mayor on Oct. 12, but dozens of counselers then challenged his win.