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May 18, 2021

National Convention of PLUS: Former PM Dacian Ciolos, elected president of the party. My project is Romania and I know what I need to do

Former Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos on Saturday was elected president of the Liberty, Unity and Solidarity Party (PLUS) at the National Convention of this political entity, with 99.17 per cent of the votes cast “in favour” and 7 “against.”

There were also 6 abstentions.

The total number of delegations who voted was 1,557.

Ciolos was the single candidate.

The vote was cast electronically, with the delegated having the opportunity to choose between telephones, tablets or laptops.

My project is Romania and I know what I need to do

 Dacian Ciolos on Saturday, after being elected head of the Liberty, Unity, Solidarity Party (PLUS), said that his project is Romania and the objective he is proposing is that this party becomes the most important political force after the parliamentary elections.

“My project, which I am proposing to you today, is not just a party or is not primarily a party. (…) My project is Romania and I know what we have to do – run in the elections to the European Parliament and testing it first, trying to get very good results, and then we need to build a solid project for the presidential elections, to build a political list for the local public administration and to win the local elections, (…) to become the most important political force in Romania after the parliamentary elections. And in order for this to happen we need each of you, here in the party, to build together a new political elite, an innovative project that will surprise everyone, an organisation that allows its members to learn and grow in politics, but to help the others, not to help themselves, to understand what they owe to the society and how to fight to shape it into a better one,” Ciolos said.

According to the former Prime Minister, PLUS is soon to reach 10,000 validated party members, which he said was “a huge performance for a single month of existence.”

“I created this party because I felt this loneliness, I felt it and we felt it in a certain way, especially after the end of 2016 and the beginning of 2017, and because the only solution for all those who feel alone is to show that we are together and that we can be together. This moment is just a beginning, we were quite upset, we suffered quite a feeling of powerlessness, we blamed each other too much and we played victims enough. However, starting today we are no longer alone and we see clearly what we have to do and it’s simple – we need to have the courage to be first of all ourselves, without asking for the approval of others for that, and we need to be convinced that we can and, first of all, that we do not depend on others,” added Ciolos.

If we wait for PSD to disappear by itself, we will see it return in other shapes

He  told the participants in the National Convention of the Freedom, Unity and Solidarity Party (PLUS) that, if they were to wait for the PSD (Social Democratic Party, part of the ruling coalition) to disappear by itself, through political self-destruction, they might have the “surprise” of watching it return “in other shapes”.

“We will lay the principles of good governance and good community collaboration at the grounds of our society.” We will form strong and involved local communities to show the citizens they can do it. For we need concrete examples for those who lost their faith that things could change and only then we can say we truly succeeded. At the bottom of its society, Romania is not divided. We all want the same thing, but we do not know how to get it. There are no such camps like “in favour of the PDS” and “against the PSD,” there are only people with their needs, who want to live better. And we are the ones who need to give them a hand and not to judge them, for such judgments are artificially tearing the community apart. This is how we will definitely overcome the cleavages and hatred because of political choices. If we expect PSD to disappear through political self-destruction we can have the surprise of see it return in other shapes. Only by changing the mentalities and behaviors at the bottom of our society we can come out of this trap of politicians who divide and incite hate. This is what we want PLUS to bring into Romanian society,” Ciolos said.

He added that he wants PLUS to be an open party in which all who want to participate in social reconstruction are welcome.

“We are proposing a political motion, a programmatic motion. We are starting to build our project around a national strategy of sustainable welfare, which is the basis of this programmatic motion – a sustainable welfare that is only achievable by a type of education that builds personalities capable of assuming one’s own becoming and their own opinions, an education that succeeds when it stimulates critical thinking, when society reinvents its way of organizing and stimulates entrepreneurship and creativity. This must happen in rural areas as well and in the urban area,” said Dacian Ciolos.

We must make President’s mandate substantial again

PLUS (Liberty, Unity and Solidarity Party) leader Dacian Ciolos on Saturday said that his party must make the mandate of the President of the country “substantial again,” and not just through its candidate, but through how it sees state restructuring.

“Presidential elections are very important to us, because you know how important the President of Romania is, not only symbolically, and we need to make the president’s mandate substantial again, and not only through the candidate we are going to propose, but also through how we see state restructuring. We wish to have a majority in 2020, to propose a reform of the Constitution, a reform of the state, to restore real balance between state powers, and here the President plays an important role. We will have a solid project to ensure that the one who will be the President of Romania will have our full support and will be part of our political project,” Ciolos said at the PLUS National Convention, after being elected president of this party.

He mentioned that local elections are important for “re-establishing” Romania on the basis of another road and in another direction – “honesty, professionalism, transparency and clarity”.

“We cannot conceive our political project without winning local elections in as many places in the country as possible and I’m telling you, after spending more than a year in the government, it’s no use to have the government and the majority in Parliament if you won’t have that connection at local level, because thinking of what Romania needs to do in the coming years, we need a strong local base of competent people to regain the Romanians’ confidence that cities, rural towns can be well managed, that public money can be correctly spent. Only like this we can think about good laws in Parliament and a coherent governing programme. For local elections we need to think about the best political alliances that will allow us to win as many local elections as possible,” said the PLUS leader.

Dacian Ciolos said that his mandate as president of the party will be of only a year, after which the party’s governing structures will be re-established.

He will lead the party along with nine other members of the National Bureau.

Another governing structure elected on Saturday is the National Council, which is composed of 50 members.

All of them are proposed by Ciolos, from among “the people he trusts and knows”.

“You will hear all kinds of stuff about them [the members of the National Council – editor’s note], because you have seen that lately there have been speculations as to how manipulated we are by one part or another. I want to assure you of one thing – integrity, honesty, beyond professionalism, are the essentials for me and I have been trying to propose people who have no problems from this point of view. However, no matter what problems might appear from today onwards, we will also have an arbitration panel, which, when appropriate, will judge the person in question based on the party’s statute, the principles and values. We will be transparent,” added Dacian Ciolos.

The PLUS statute, which stipulates inter alia that “persons convicted of corruption, active workers or collaborators of the former Securitate, persons promoting violence, racism, ethnic or territorial separatism” cannot become members of the party.

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