Alexandru Bujorean: Each election is a new litmus test for society

Each election is a new litmus test for society. The current voters’ perception of corruption is also influenced by the way in which the cases of grand corruption are solved, the reelected mayor of Leova town Alexandru Bujorean stated in a public debate hosted by IPN.
“We speak about the corruption of voters, but speak less about the corruption of candidates, which is as serious. On the one hand, obscure forces corrupted with money. On the other hand, candidates were favored or were promised financing projects, which is equal to me. The difference is that in one case, the candidate benefits from sources of money, while in the other case the locality benefits. I perfectly understand the mayors who, in their sincere wish to develop the community, went and ran on behalf of particular political parties. But we should see if this process is democratic or not,” stated Alexandru Bujorean.

As to the corruption of voters, the mayor of Leova noted that an explanation exists here, not necessarily to justify the voters. “We should start form our origins. We are a post-soviet state and stealing was a norm in that earlier state. They stole from the kolkhoz. Those who didn’t steal were considered naïve, to say the least. Current voters’ perceptions of the state institutions, of particular high-ranking officials, in general of processes to fought corruption in the country are reflected in polls and studies. Nothing has been done in the bank fraud case for ten years. The voters consider that everyone at the central level steals and also the mayors and the councilors steal. If everyone steals, why shouldn’t we steal or not profit from the fact that they steal somewhere”? Alexandru Bujorean asked rhetorically.

He said that there is enormous confusion in this case. Earlier, the candidates or the voters were corrupted with money stolen from the people of the Republic of Moldova. Now they speak about money coming from outside, which is designed to destroy the statehood of the Republic of Moldova, the constitutional order and the voters’ involvement in these processes implies complicity.

The mayor noted that the November 5 local elections were held based on new electoral norms, but there are yet particular regulations that are close to the limit of constitutionality. “How constitutional is it to say that the local elected officials’ term in office is of four years when it is actually of three years and 11 months as the mayor during the election campaign cannot serve? In Romania, there are no suspension periods as there should be persons who bear responsibility for what is going on in the locality. I don’t know how influential the instruments of the incumbent mayor can be. But if harsher penalties are applied in such cases, I don’t know if someone can be excluded from the competition only for using such instruments,” stated Alexandru Bujorean.

The public debate entitled “Influence of acts of corruption on election process at local level” was staged by IPN as part of the project “Stimulation of discussion in the mass media about traditional particularities of local elections and the need for Europeanization” which is supported by Soros Foundation Moldova.

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