A member of Romanian parliament, Florin Popescu, has been sentenced to 2 years in prison for bribing voters with fried chicken during an election in 2012.
With the help of supporters, Popescu reportedly distributed 60 tonnes of chicken to voters in an attempt to win another term as a council leader in local elections dating back to 2012, before he entered parliament.
The case had come to light after the chicken producer reported Popescu to the authorities who, after investigations, found that Popescu had abused his high position in local politics to secure a supply of fried chicken worth around £85,000 from a producer.
The investigator said;
“On April 5, 2012 several people sent by Florin Popescu loaded the fried chicken into vans and took it to various locations where it was distributed. All the packages of chicken were distributed for election purposes.”
Popescu, who has been nick named the “chicken baron,” resigned his parliamentary seat last month in order to protect the honour and reputation of parliament. He said;
“Politics is a sweet rose but it can sometimes have a bitter taste.”
He continued, adding that all men were “both good and bad.”
Bucharest court ruling placed the condition of no parole on Popescu’s sentence while also rejecting an appeal by the disgraced politician during the culmination of the case.
Romania has a reputation as one of the most corrupt countries in the European Union, which granted the former Eastern bloc state membership in 2007. Since then, the country and its administration has heightened its efforts to crack down on corruption, resulting in the high-profile convictions of numerous leading figures in the business community, as well as a former prime minister and economic minister.
The country was ranked 58th in Transparency International’s Global Corruption Perception Index for 2015, with only Italy and Bulgaria deemed to be more corrupt.