Romania’s acting Prime Minister Ludovoc Orban says he will support activist and center-right politician Nicusor Dan to run for mayor of Bucharest.
Orban, who leads the Liberal Party, announced his support Thursday at a news conference. The Liberals, Romania’s second-largest party, will not field their own candidate.
„Our main objective is to ensure a local government of Bucharest that offers viable solutions for Bucharest’s major problems, from traffic to pollution, to urban development, to quality of life,” Orban said.
“I am convinced that Nicusor Dan is the most suitable candidate for achieving the principal targets of the Liberals, to liberate Bucharest from the despotic rule of the Social Democrats and to ensure that Bucharest is well governed,” he said.
It will be Dan’s third to attempt to be elected mayor of the Romanian capital.
Commentators say that Dan, 50, has the best chance of defeating the incumbent Gabriela Firea, the Social Democrat who is running for a second term.
Dan, is a mathematician and civic activist and studied at the prestigious Ecole Normale Superieure in France before returning to Romania.
In 2006, he launched the Save Bucharest Association, a civic organization aimed at saving Bucharest’s architectural heritage, threatened by new real estate developments.
In 2012, he ran for Bucharest mayor as an independent and came fourth.
In June 2015, he launched the political platform Save Bucharest Union and a year later ran for mayor, coming second to Firea.
He later launched the Save Romania Union (USR), which came third in 2016 parliamentary elections. He resigned from the party in 2017 after disagreements with other party leaders.
The party said in 2019 it would support Dan as its candidate for Bucharest mayor.