Nicusor Dan on Saturday was reelected to a new term in office as national leader of the opposition Save Romania Union (USR) by the vote of 173 delegates having attended a USR Congress convention in Cluj-Napoca.
The Cluj MP Emanuel Ungureanu was the second in the competition for the President position, obtaining 61 votes. Parliamentary counselor Serban Marinescu obtained 14 votes, while Cornelia German got three votes.
The party also elected its deputy chairs: Elek Levente, Vlad Alexandrescu, Stelian Ion, Dan Barna, Ionut Mosteanu and Cristian Seidler. The vote on the seventh deputy chair ended in a tie between Raluca Amariei and Cristian Ghinea.
Cristian Ghinea lost the deputy chair position, being elected as a simple member in the party’s National Bureau
USR MP Cristian Ghinea, former Minister of EU Funds in the Ciolos Government, lost the deputy chair position in the party on Sunday morning, in the favor of the USR Sibiu President, Raluca Amariei.
On Sunday morning, Cristian Ghinea obtained only 55 votes of the total number of 192 valid votes, at the ballotage voting for the position of the USR Vice President, while his rival, Raluca Amariei, obtained 135 votes, thus becoming the seventh deputy chair of the party, while Ghinea remains a member within the party’s central leadership.
A ballotage was also held for the last seat as a simple member in the USR National Bureau, where the rivals were the USR Maramures President, Dan Ivan, and Senator George Marussi. Ivan succeeded to win, on Sunday morning, with 139 votes, compared to Marussi, who couldn’t get any leading position inside the party again.
Also elected to the USR National Bureau, besides the deputy chairs were Clotilde Armand (Bucharest District 1 councillor), Catalin Drula (USR Timis MP), Cristian Ghica (USR Bucharest senator), Florin Silviu Chereji (USR Cluj member), Cornel Zainea (USR Ilfov MP), Claudiu Nasui (USR Bucharest MP), Radu Mihail (USR Diaspora senator), Florina Presada (USR Bucharest senator), George Taranu (USR Iasi member), Ion Voinea (USR Bucharest member), Alin Ionut Arsu (Bucharest councillor).
Attending the USR Congress convention were over 300 USR members, of whom 260 voting delegates, from the party’s 47 county chapters.
Nicusor Dan: USR has two problems – the conflict between progressists and conservatives, and the lack of collegiality and trust
USR President Nicusor Dan stated on Saturday at Cluj-Napoca, in his speech for supporting his candidacy for a new seat at the party’s leadership, that the party has two big problems: the internal conflict between progressists and conservatives, and a lack of collegiality and trust. He reiterated that he wants USR to win as many mayoralties of big cities as possible in 2020, in the local elections, and to obtain a score in the parliamentary elections that allows it to propose the PM.
“I am running with a platform entitled ‘USR changes Romania’. Our stake is not to regulate how we agree inside the party, but how we can lead Romania to normality. In this platform, I am proposing a schedule by which USR will reach the second party in Romania, being able to fight for the mayoralties in the big cities, obtaining a score in 2020 that allows it to propose the PM” Nicusor Dan stated.
The UR leader said that by the end of the next year, the party must complete a shadow government, and the same should happen at local level, meaning to establish the candidates for mayoralties by the end of 2018.
Nicusor Dan also spoke in front of the Congress about USR problems in his view. The first one is the internal conflict between progressists and conservatives.
“There was an agreement we had since we founded this party, there was an implicit agreement for each of us when we joined USR: the party accepts the ideological plurality. I see that we waste a large amount of energy for the debate between progressists and conservatives. Even worse, I see an extremist behavior at my colleagues, or at least I see they don’t accept the other’s opinion. We lose a lot of energy for a debate which, anyway, doesn’t allow us change our opinions between ourselves on a very intimate issue, instead of using this energy on things that unite us, for which we’ve entered politics” Nicusor Dan stated from the USR Congress’s tribune.
The party’s second problem identified by Nicusor Dan, which, in his view, is even more serious than the first one, refers to “collegiality and trust in ourselves”.
“I am involved in the public life since ten years, and I had moments of bewilderment. Not when some sly guys were asking for additional floors and the mayors were illegally granting them these floors. But when people in good faith were insulting me on forums and I saw they were in good faith, but they believe invented stories about me, that was bewildering me. Unfortunately, I felt this inside USR, in the behavior of certain colleagues related to me, and that bewildered me. A mythology was created inside USR, where some of us want to democratize USR, while others, including me, don’t. Some of us want a debate, while others, including me, don’t want a debate (…) I am appalled that there are some of our colleagues who believe in this mythology (…) The most phantasmagoric thing I have ever heard is that I was against the possibility of the USR members to have a dialogue on a single platform, as ‘Iocan’s Meadow’ is now.
The USR leader launched harsh criticisms against “underground agreements” from inside the party, warning that the future leadership may be affected by this kind of agreements.
“There is actually a battle for power for the power’s sake, and the power is not legitimate. Since we are at the congress, there should be a debate on who will lead the party in the future, on how the party should be led. Unfortunately, we have underground agreements of people who decided to mutually vote each other. We have groups formed (…) There is the risk that the majority in the National Bureau will be established by this kind of agreements. And this is not right” Nicusor Dan warned.
He invited all the participants at the Congress not to forget what united them inside USR and the trust given by the voters.
USR’s Dan not ruling out former PM Ciolos heading USR shadow cabinet
The opposition Save Romania Union (USR) will be setting up a shadow cabinet and considered for heading it are even non-affiliated Dacian Ciolos, the former head of a technocratic government, USR national leader Nicusor Dan said Sunday.
”We have put forth a one and a half year calendar to come up with USR’s complete political programme for Romania. At the end of the process, we will select from among all people having attended the debate the best for each portfolio and the prime minister. We will invite people from the civil society who are experts in various areas to join the debate, and the composition of that government to be does not exclude outsiders. Dacian Ciolos obviously is not excluded,” Dan told a news conference in Cluj-Napoca.
Asked whether or not Ciolos could lead the shadow cabinet, Dan answered in the affirmative, saying him including.
Dan also reiterated that USR has set to become Romania’s second biggest party to successfully compete for the halls of the country’s big towns and cities, so that the outcome of the 2020 general election may entitle it to name the prime minister.