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The Map of Clientelistic Mayors: do you know what your mayor is up to?

EFOR has launched Map of clientelistic mayors, a study showing how mayors migrated in the last four years, either through parties’ mergers or by OUG 55/2014, regarding the political migration. The Map of mayors who changed parties includes political affiliation of mayors in Romania in the 2012-2016 mandate and the problems they had and still have with ANI or DNA.

We took into consideration four important moments: June 2012 (election results), September 2014 (before the migration of locals elected according to GEO 55/2014), November 2014 (after migration) and December 2015. During this period more parties’ mergers occurred and there were also dissolutions of alliances, the most significant being the breaking of USL in February 2014 and the merger of PDL with PNL in October 2014. In other words, the list of 2012 does not look like the one in 2016, and it is probably hard to understand why a politician was elected as a member of USL, arrived later in PNL, then PPDD and UNPR, all these changes happening in less than four years.

The goal is to show what was the number of mayors who were / still are member of these parties, and what are the risks involved when obtaining monopoly by one of them, facilitated by local elections in a single round. If in 2012 PSD, PNL, PC and UNPR had nearly 70% of seats, in 2015 PSD, UNPR and ALDE had 1755 mayors (55%) who are likely to receive mandates in the first round, without mentioning other municipalities where candidates have the chance of winning.

The Map illustrates the migration of Mayors and the problems they and the chairmen of county councils have had with justice. The ANI layer contains information about the local officials who had issues with incompatibilities, conflicts of interests or criminal charges related to conflict of interest and false declarations, while the DNA layer deals with corruption, abuse while on duty and similar offences.

According to DNA, there are 111 mayors who have problems with the law, while 9 of them have multiple charges against them. Most of them come from villages (80), only 5 from cities and 24 from Bucharest and other municipalities. In the case of county councils presidents, Nicuşor Constantinescu (Constanta) has the largest number of files, followed by Gheorghe Bunea Stancu (Braila), Marian Bigiu (Buzau) and Constantin Nicolescu (Arges), with 2 files.

ANI data shows that 347 mayors had trouble with the law and 46 mayors have two or more integrity problems. Some mayors were even twice in an incompatibility or conflict of interest situation. A total of 24 mayors come from municipalities, nearly 40 from cities and the rest from rural communities. Over 15% of the mayors from the ANI list and over 6% of the DNA list are migrants from one party to another.

EFOR demonstrated which are the available local political resources of all parties at the end of a four-year cycle, characterized by intense political migration and why it would still be better to vote in two rounds. The two rounds represent a protective mechanism against a monopoly of parties and clientelistic relations. In the past four years, local officials have migrated in order to receive political protection or resources from the centre. Obtaining a new majority of 60-70% would only ensure continuity of such practices of clientèle.


Open the map here.

Read more in our report EFOR 2016: Priorități politice în România, priorități politice în Moldova (Romanian only)

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