Romanian prime minister says he spent two days in U.S. jail in 2000 for driving under the influence

Florin Citu/Alexandru Muraru, Facebook.
Florin Citu/Alexandru Muraru, Facebook.

Romania’s Prime Minister Florin Citu has confirmed he spent two days in jail in the U.S. after he was caught driving under the influence two decades ago.

The prime minister, a former banker, said he paid a $1,000 fine.

He was questioned by reporters after published a court document showing he had been incarcerated in Iowa in 2000 for (OWI), operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

“It was a misdemeanor. I made a mistake,” the 49-year-old premier said on Wednesday.

The development comes ahead of a bitterly contested party leadership contest next month.

The U.S.-educated prime minister who served as a finance minister, suggested the document may have been leaked by his own Liberal Party.

”It’s interesting that despite four elections against the Social Democrats, this never came  out. But it comes out now there is an internal battle in the National Liberal Party,” he added.

 The former banker is running against the current party chairman Ludovic Orban, a former prime minister who is now the  speaker of the Chamber of Deputies.

There have been calls for Mr Orban to step down after the Liberals did worse than expected in December 2020 elections.

Mr Citu, who has the support of more regional Liberal groups than Mr Orban, is currently believed to stand a good chance of unseating Mr Orban.

It is unclear what effect the revelation will have on his chances.

“I drove (under the influence of alcohol). It was a mistake and I paid dearly. I had to sell my car, and walk for many days. It is not something you are proud of,” he said.

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