President Traian Basescu campaigns for the introduction of uninominal votes in general elections. Romania fails to react properly to the challenges of Moldovan leader Vladimir Voronin. Preparations for European elections are in full swing. Shady deals of the past come back to light. And Bucharest mayor is blamed for paying big money to hunt stray dogs on city streets. All in today’s newspapers.

Cotidianul reports that President Traian Basescu met representatives of the civil society yesterday and said he understood he should play the role of an apostle in promoting the introduction of uninominal votes in future general elections “county by county”.

The newspaper reads this as an effort to join the electoral campaign on behalf of the Democratic Party as Romanians prepare to elect their first representatives in the European Parliament.

According to Gandul, the President poses as the lone defender of uninominal votes as he believes chances are minimal to use the media in promoting the idea of changing the electoral system.

Also in Gandul, there is little difference between national and European elections due when it comes to organizational problems.

The EP polls Romanians are expected to attend in May this year are marred by incomplete legislation and quarrels between members of the Permanent Electoral Authority, which prompted the Government to take the reigns of preparations.

And Cotidianul reports an unusual exchange of seats: while Liberal Adrian Cioroianu, deputy head of the Liberal group in the EP - ALDE is set to become Romania’s Foreign minister, the man who’s served in the office for the past two years, Mihai Razvan Ungureanu, announced plans to run for the European Parliament in the May elections.

Elsewhere in the papers, Evenimentul Zilei notes that the Presidency and the Foreign Ministry in Bucharest refused yesterday to comment on the statements made last weekend by Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin, who alleged a so-called “Moldovan minority” numbering some 10 million people - about half of Romania’s population - is discriminated by Romanian authorities.

Voronin’s statements came as representatives of a shady, newly-established association, the Community of Moldovans in Romania, received a heroes’ welcome in Chisinau last week.

According to Jurnalul National, however, the Community said it did not want to get involved in political disputes that may affect the already tense relations between Bucharest and Chisinau.

The association is already challenged in court as prosecutors in Iasi say provisions of its statute are non-constitutional, as Cotidianul reports.

Meanwhile, Evenimentul Zilei publishes starting today a series of articles about the “robbery” of the Romanian energy system over the past 17 years.

And is opens the series with a report that the first abusive deal in the sector was concluded in 1997 and cost the Romanian state over 202 million euro - a contract for the technological upgrade of the Portile de Fier I Danube dam.

Cotidianul turns its eyes on the former Social Democratic government and reports that a 2 million euro tender in the Romanian health sector was won last year - that is, under the current Democratic-Liberal government - by a company under the wing of ex-PM Adrian Nastase, using tricks reminiscent of the abusive deals that were concluded under Nastase’s PSD cabinet.

Last but not least, Gandul deals with a major problem of the Romanian capital and accuses Bucharest mayor Adriean Videanu that while the main body supervising the situation of stray animals in Bucharest has a considerable budget at its disposal he plans to change it into a firm that will “hunt” stray dogs and cats for a price that amounts to as high as 100 RON (some 30 euro) per dog.