Bucharest mayor has “no hidden thoughts” of running for president

Bucharest mayor Gabriela Firea says she doesn’t have any “hidden thoughts” of running for president of Romania or for the Social Democratic Party’s top spot, should such an opportunity arise. She claims that false information has been spread about her and that those who know her perceive her as “an extremely serious” person.

“I don’t have the slightest intention to run for Romania’s presidency, I don’t have the slightest intention to run for the party’s presidency, should such a situation appear,” Firea said in a TV show at Antena 3 news station.

“People perceive me as an extremely serious person and I want to take this mandate as mayor of Bucharest to the end, I want to have results. If it’s the case, maybe I will run for a second mandate as mayor, but I don’t have any hidden thoughts,” she added, according to News.ro.

Firea, who is the most popular of the Social Democratic Party’s current leaders, may be the party’s best bid for president in the 2019 presidential elections. A recent opinion poll run by local market research firm CURS showed her tied with current president Klaus Iohannis in the vote intentions, each with about 37%.

She may also be one of the favorites to take over as party leader should current president Liviu Dragnea be forced or decide to resign. Dragnea, who is currently being prosecuted in a new corruption case, is beginning to lose his influence within the party. Current prime minister Mihai Tudose may be his top opponent for party leadership and has often expressed different views to Dragnea’s in recent weeks.

Gabriela Firea has recently clashed with Tudose over the Bucharest City Hall’s intention to organize a Christmas fair in Victoriei Square, the space in front of the Government’s building which has been the stage of anti-PSD protests this year. The PM said the idea was not a good one and the mayor decided to cancel the fair after clashes between the protesters and the gendarmes on Saturday.

However, Firea accused Tudose of making undue comments about her and other party colleagues and said she believed that the PM wanted to take over the party leadership. A similar attempt by former PM Sorin Grindeanu earlier this year resulted in his dismissal by no-confidence motion.

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