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Campaign for Local Elections: The SDP Expense Equals That of the All the Other Parties

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18 Iun 2004 - 00:00

POLITICS

Pro Democratia, a Romanian NGO, monitored the outdoor and print-media advertisement of political parties during the campaign for both rounds of local elections due to end this Sunday.

OANA STANCU

Its findings show the Social Democrat Party (SDP) spent almost half of the money all parties and independent candidates put into their respective campaigns. The SDP figure stays at 3,225,811 dollars, while the total is 6,150,590 dollars. The Democrat Party (DP) and the National Liberal Party (NLP) spent together 1.6 million dollars, the Romanian Humanist Party spent 720,425 dollars, Marian Vanghelie (TR. NOTE: who won the City Hall of the 5th district of Bucharest in the first round of elections, running on an independent ticket) spent 173,432 dollars, while the Popular Action Party spent 125,495 dollars.

The analysis performed by Pro Democratia shows the expenses of SDP went up during the second round of elections. Three of its candidates for the Bucharest five districts which are still up for grabs spent the following: Dan Darabont - 35,000 dollars, Eugen Plesca - 33,000 dollars, and Vasile Gherasim - 26,000 dollars.
While the SDP candidate for the City Hall of Cluj, Ioan Rus, spent an extra 33,000 dollars.

Breaches to the Law

The study performed by Pro Democratia shows that massive breaches occurred to the Law on financing political parties and electoral campaigns, even though the research study was limited to only the outdoor and print-media advertising. All SDP candidates for the mayor offices in the Bucharest districts spent beyond the legal cap of 41,269 dollars.

Dan Darabont, candidate for the 6th district City Hall, spent six times that much, with 240,776 dollars. His opponent for the second round of elections is Cristian Poteras, of the Justice and Truth Alliance (made of the DP and the NLP) who spent 7,326 dollars on electoral advertisement.

The ratio between the two main opposing camps rests the same for the other Bucharest districts too.
District 1: Vasile Gherasim (SDP) spent 151,972 dollars, while his challenger, Andrei Chiliman (DP-NLP Alliance), spent 52,388 dollars;
District 2: Neculai Ontanu (SDP) spent 103,191 dollars; his challenger, Anca Boagiu (DP-NLP alliance) spent 14,616 dollars;
District 3: Eugen Plesca (SDP) spent 196,749 dollars; his opponent, Liviu Negoita (DP-NLP Alliance) spent 25,180 dollars;
District 4: Vasile Mihalache (SDP) spent 186,629 dollars, while his challenger, Adrian Inimaroiu (DP-NLP Alliance) spent 47,193 dollars. The latter did infringe upon the legal provisions asking for a cap on campaign spending, as did Andrei Chiliman.

High Spenders for Cluj City Too

Ioan Rus, who recently resigned his position of minister of interior to concentrate on his campaigning in Cluj, is the next big SDP spender, after the party’s candidates in Bucharest.
For Cluj city the cap on spending is at 165,000, while Rus spent on outdoor and print-media advertising alone in excess of 150,358 dollars. If one is to take into account the other reasonable expenses to consider for an electoral campaign, Rus is over the legal expense limit too.
When campaigning for the second round of elections, Rus placed advertisements in print media worth 21,000 dollars, and spent other 12,000 dollars on billboards.
His opponent, Emil Boc (of the DP-NLP Alliance) spent only 16,000 dollars for the first round of elections, and almost as much as that for the second round, which puts the total expense of his electoral campaign at 35,000 dollars.

Bacau City Follows the Trend

For the mayor’s office in Bacau city, Dumitru Sachelariu, the SDP candidate, spent 36,000 dollars to campaign for the first round of the electoral campaign, and an extra 8,000 dollars for the second round, focusing on face-to-face meetings with his voters.
His challenger, Romeo Stavarache, of the Romanian Humanist Party, spent only 1,136 dollars before the first round of elections, to go up now to a total of 19,875 dollars.

Brasov and Ramnicu Valcea split the Alliance

In Brasov city, the NLP candidate, Ioan Ghise, did not spent one dollar on advertisement, while his challenger, George Scripcaru, of DP, spent a total of 56,690 dollars.
In Ramnicu Valcea, which is another city where candidates of the two parties making the DP-NLP Alliance face each other, Mircea Gutau, DP, spent 19,395 dollars, while Sorin Zamfirescu, NLP, spent 13,790 dollars.

Translation: ANCA PADURARU
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