Jail time for Romanian MP trading votes for chicken

CARSTEN REHDER

Quiz: chicken loock through the bars of their locked coop, or are they visiting someone in jail?

But, the use of food to gain votes indicates an all together different challenge


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A Bucharest court upheld a two year sentence for a Romanian MP on corruption charges; the court of appeal sustained that offering his voters fried chicken was indeed bribery.

Exchanging food for votes in rural areas in not unheard of in Romania; it is usually flour and oil. Florian Popescu went the extra mile.

During the 2012 Romanian legislative elections, candidate Florin Popescu distributed no less than 60 tons of fried chicken worth €108,000.

Since the first trial in 2014, Popescu had been known with the nickname “Chicken Baron.” He protested he did not have the time to east even one chicken wing.

Popescu resigned his post as an MP in March 2nd.

Romania ranked 58th in the corruption perception index of transparency international in 2015 making strands from its 69th place in 2014.  In 2015, the famous Romanian National Anti-Corruption Agency (DNA) was pursuing 10,000 cases and was believed to be going after a third of the country’s business and political elite. Nonetheless, a Council of Europe report published in January 2016 asked Romania to do more to promote transparency, especially as at a legislative level, where the report notes “gifts” and “conflict of interest” are not unknown.

However, the use of food rather than hard cash points towards a related to corruption challenge. Besides having a serious corruption challenge, according to Eurostat, Romania has the second biggest population in Europe after Bulgaria in risk of poverty and social exclusion.

(with AP, The Telegraph)

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