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Five Local Party Officials Fired For Hunting On the Job

November 26, 1987

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) _ Five local Communist Party leaders were fired for hunting when they apparently should have been at their desks working on how to boost lagging industrial production, the party newspaper said Thursday.

One of the five Dolj county party leaders was seriously wounded in an accident during last weekend’s hunt, which was organized by the county’s party first secretary, the official party daily Scinteia reported.

The unusual report said Marius Cojocaru, a secretary in charge of organizational problems, was shot and rushed to hospital in ″grave condition.″ It gave no other details.

On Monday, a joint meeting of the Dolj party committee and the Craiova municipal committee discussed the ″grave violations of party discipline″ that led to the hunt, Scinteia said.

Craiova, the capital of the southwestern county, is a powerful industrial center known for its electric locomotive and passenger car factories.

Scinteia said the Dolj party plenum ″took a resolute attitude and condemned the misdeeds of some members, who instead of acting in the spirit of the party demands for removing (economic) arrears, have shown a condemnable ... attitude by organizing the hunting party at the initiative of the first secretary, Gheorghe Matei.″

Matei was among the four fired officials, who the plenum also said should be expelled from the party. That would deprive them of privileges enjoyed by the party elite.

Scinteia said other officials from enterprises in the area who took part in the hunting party also were sacked.

The paper did not mention how news of the hunting party reached Bucharest. Nor did it name of the member of the party’s ruling Politburo who was dispatched to chair the Dolj plenary meeting that took the punitive measures.

Scinteia criticized Alexa Haralambie, a cadre instructor from the party’s policy-setting Central Committee, for attending the hunting party instead of warning the Dolj party leadership that their action was in ″flagrant contradiction″ with party norms.

Haralambie, who headed Romania’s Olympic Committee when it defied a Soviet- led boycott and sent Romanian athletes to the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, also was accused of failing to notify the Central Committee about the Dolj officials’ plans.

No disciplinary measures against Haralambie were reported by Scinteia.

Hunting outings for party and government elite aren’t rare in Romania, but they seldom are reported in the state-run media.

The hunt occurred two days after a Politburo meeting in Bucharest criticized production shortfalls in the country’s energy-strapped economy.

At the Nov. 20 meeting, President Nicolai Ceausescu condemned economic enterprises for failing to meet plan targets. It was attended by first secretaries of Romania’s 40 counties.

″Gheorghe Matei has a great responsability because after his return from the meeting, instead of implementing the the measures adopted ... he organized the hunting party to which he invited other officials and managers of enterprises, thus distracting them from their important tasks,″ Scinteia said.

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