Electoral Surprise in Bălți: Marina Tauber and Nicolai Grigorișin will Face, in the Second Round of Elections, for the Mayor’s Seat
Marina Tauber, the candidate of the Shor Party, won the first round of the new local elections held on November 21 in Bălți. The data published by the Central Electoral Commission show that Marina Tauber obtained 47.93% of the votes, Nicolai Grigorișin came in second place, accumulating 20.93% of the votes. Thus, on December 5, the two will face each other for the mayoral seat of Bălți municipality, in the second round of elections.
The data published by the Central Electoral Commission show that, in Bălți, following the elections for the position of mayor, held on November 21, Marina Tauber was ranked first with 47.93% (15,918 votes), and Nicolai Grigorișin was ranked second, by 20.93% (6,951 votes). The candidate of the Action and Solidarity Party, Boris Marcoci, is in third place with 14.08% (4,679 votes), two votes more than the candidate of the Electoral Bloc of Communists and Socialists Alexandr Nesterovschi, who accumulated 14.08% ( 4,677 votes).
Thus, as no candidate obtained 50% + 1 of the votes, according to the Electoral Code, the second round of elections will be organized, in which the battle for the position of mayor in Bălți will be between the first two candidates who have accumulated the most many votes: Marina Tauber and Nicolai Grigorișin.
ZdG analyzed the political CVs and the fortune of the two candidates and presents you with the most relevant information about those who aspire to the mayoral seat of the northern capital.
Independent candidate, affiliated with Renato Usatîi: poor in politics, millionaire a year after elections
Nicolai Grigorișin was registered in the race for mayor of Bălți as an independent candidate. In recent years, he was mayor and deputy mayor, and after the retirement of Renato Usatîi from the mayor’s office, he held the interim position of mayor. Recently, however, there was a rupture in the relationship between the two. In October this year, Usatîi declared that, after a tense discussion, he would have told Grigorișin “that he can do what he wants, but it should be clear that he does not have the support of Our Party.”
Grigorișin appeared on the political scene with Renato Usatîi in 2014. At the same time, he became the head of the branch of Our Party in Bălți, and his wife, Natalia, ran for deputy in the 2014 parliamentary elections. 10th on the list.
In 2015, when he was running for a term in the Bălți Municipal Council, Grigorișin was one of the poorest candidates. Officially, at the launch in politics, he did not declare anything and had no legal income. According to the wealth declarations, the Grigorișin family would have had incomes of almost 100 euros per month, money obtained from business by Natalia.
One year after the elections, Grigorișin looks like a real local baron: manager of a Ukrainian company that controls a boarding house on the Ukrainian coast; founder of the FC Zaria football club from Bălți; owner of two cars and watches worth over 30,000 euros. The pension is called Avtomobilist and belongs to the Nikdal company, whose director is Grigorișin, who claims that he has nothing to do with the company, although he is still its administrator and is still paid for it.
The candidate’s family owns three urban plots of land, a commercial space of 475 square meters, the price of which would be about 100,000 euros, and two cars: a Mercedes, manufactured in 1983, and a Chevrolet Blazer from 1995. At the same time, the candidate declares three other cars he has in use: a Mercedes from 2012, a Land Cruiser 200 from 2019, and a Skoda Octavia from 2015. Grigorișin declares two more expensive watches: one – of about 25,000 euros, another – of 5,000 euros. The watches were given to him in 1999 and 2012. Only the brand of the newer watch – a Breguet, is indicated. The candidate declares savings in the amount of 20,000 dollars and 2,500 euros, but also a loan amounting to 45,000 euros.
Shor Party candidate: listed in the Kroll report and with debts of 85,000 euros to Ilan Shor’s mother
Marina Tauber, the candidate of the Shor Party, is the vice-president of the political party and deputy. Before joining the Parliament, Tauber held the position of mayor of Jora de Mijloc commune for almost a year. Until 2016, before launching into politics, for six years, she was the president of the Tennis Federation. Ilan Shor’s former schoolmate appears in both Kroll reports on the billion-dollar bank fraud case. According to Kroll, Tauber, along with other Unibank shareholders, allegedly acted together for the benefit of Ilan Shor.
Marina Tauber was left without parliamentary immunity in 2019, being investigated for “favoring the fraud of the banking system.” She was detained, but a year later, she was taken out of custody on the ground that the facts do not meet the elements of the alleged offenses.
In 2020, the candidate’s fortune was a pretext for two requests to the National Integrity Authority and the General prosecutor’s Office. Then, the author of the request, the socialist deputy Marina Radvan specified that the data from the wealth declarations of Marina Tauber is suspect, referring to the luxury accessories displayed by Tauber. The check has not yet been completed.
In the last two years, according to the wealth declaration submitted to the Central Electoral Commission, Tauber had an official income of approximately 27,000 euros. The candidate owns an apartment inherited in 2007 and estimated at 25,000 euros. At the same time, from 2020, according to her statement, she rents another real estate of about 119 square meters, estimated at 17,000 euros. Tauber drives a Volkswagen Passat, manufactured in 2018 and acquired in 2019, whose value is about 16,000 euros. The deputy also states that, in the last two years, she received, on her birthday, about 33,000 euros in total, as well as expensive gifts. At the same time, Marina Tauber has debts of about 85,000 euros to Ilan Shor’s stepmother, Ilona Shor.
Madame Tauber’s “great success” is due to the fact that very few came to the polls
Anatol Moraru, writer, university professor, co-founder of the Nord News portal in Bălți, explains the results of the first round of local elections in Bălți and the win of the Shor Party candidate by the fact that the people from Bălți went out to vote in a small number and that they voted ethnically.
“We know that these early elections were caused by the withdrawal of Renato Usatîi. He became upset that the people of Bălți for the early parliamentary elections preferred the Bloc of Communists and Socialists and not Our party. Moreover, the anger went so far that he also announced publicly that he was withdrawing his support for Nicolai Grigorișin. In this way, this confused, in my opinion, some of his supporters and made Grigorișin run independently, which, in a way, changed the balance of power. In essence, I see that Chișinău speaks of it in terms of catastrophe, although this is not the case. Madame Tauber’s “great success” is due to the fact that very few came to the polls. As far as I know, at the polling stations, where 2,000 or so are registered, there were about ⅓ of the voters. Mrs. Tauber moved very freely through Bălți, giving electoral promises and gifts, resorting to populism, and invoking the “miracle” of Orhei: “Everything will be like in Orhei.” Don’t the state institutions once and for all step over that town hall in Orhei to see what miracles happen there? Where do such exceptional funds come from for miracles to happen? We know how modest the budgets are, whether they come from state budget allocations or from internal taxes. Neither Bălți nor Orhei has budgets like in New York or Las Vegas.
From my point of view, on the one hand, she was ethnically voted, because Mrs. Tauber relied only on this segment, she had very few speeches in Romanian, the whole electoral campaign was carried out mainly in Russian. She occupied the segment which Usatîi left and made fantastical promises, but people believed her. She told those who voted for her what they expected to hear.
Well, no one tried to temper or analyze Tauber’s promises. And it is this conjuncture or chain of unfavorable circumstances that makes people in Orhei, and now in Bălți, adhere to the well-known formula from Orhei: “He steals but gives us as well,” people who are not interested in where the money comes from.”