Parliament Leadership Fires Electoral Body Director Supervising Party Spending

The combined standing bureaus of the Romanian Parliament decided on Thursday to fire an electoral body director responsible with supervising campaign and political party spending, in a move the opposition accused of being tied to an investigation the body launched into the ruling party's spending.

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Imaginea articolului Parliament Leadership Fires Electoral Body Director Supervising Party Spending

Parliament Leadership Fires Electoral Body Director Supervising Party Spending

The standing bureaus decided to fire Toma-Bogdan Costeie from the office general director of the Permanent Electoral Authority's (AEP) Political Party and Campaign Spending Verification Department.

This comes one day after the Parliament decided to appoint Constantin Mituletu-Buica, supported by the ruling Social Democrat Party (PSD), as new AEP chairman.

Opposition party USR MP Stelian Ion said after Thursday’s standing bureaus meeting that the decision was taken in response to inquiries made by AEP into how PSD spent its share of party subsidies and deemed the decision “an abuse”.

“Following the investigation launched by AEP into PSD spending, this party tried by any means possible to get rid of the clerks who launched the inquiry (…) In an absolutely illegal manner, they retroactively found a reason that the person in question did not submit a formal statement that he does not belong to any political parties, despite the fact that this was not requested at any point and he was not summoned to explain the situation, so it is clearly an abuse. If this person will sue the Parliament it will surely win, because it is not admissible to fire a person just because it dares to start an investigation into your party,” the USR MP said.

AEP deputy chairman Marian Muhulet announced on Wednesday that the investigation into PSD spending in 2017 was suspended, after the Court of Accounts filed a request to start a new verification of party spending in August.

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