The Save Romania Union (USR) adopted on Saturday, during a Political Committee meeting that lasted the entire day, the decision to form a joint list for the European Parliament elections, the alliance being called the ‘2020 USR-PLUS Alliance.’ The list was adopted with 68 votes in favour and 9 against.
The joint list consists of: 1. Dacian Ciolos, PLUS President; 2. Cristian Ghinea (USR); 3. Dragos Pislaru (PLUS); Clotilde Armand (USR); 5. Dragos Tudorache (PLUS); 6. Nicolae Stefanuta (USR); 7. Vlad Botos (USR); 8. Ramona Strugariu (PLUS); 9. Vlad Gheorghe (USR); 10. Alin Mituta (PLUS); 11. Anamaria Naomi Reniut (PLUS); 12. Valeriu Nicolae (PLUS); 13. Oana Toiu (PLUS); 14. Radu Ghelmez (USR); 15. Liviu Iolu (PLUS).
“Starting today (Saturday – editor’s note), the USR and PLUS are an alliance, one that will build the alternative that Romania badly needs. It’s a historic moment for what will happen in Romania next, it’s natural. The people who want a Romania without lawbreakers will have someone to vote for. The main Opposition force is born today. This is what we have built, a project for Romania,” USR President Dan Barna stated at the end of the party’s Political Committee meeting convened to debate USR’s strategy for the European Parliament elections. The Political Committee’s order of business also included a debate on the legislative priorities that USR MPs will have during the February-June 2018 parliamentary session.
The USR hopes to win six eligible places as a result of the alliance between the two parties, political sources told Mediafax.
The National Council of PLUS held a meeting on Saturday to adopt a decision on the same topic. Before taking part in the USR meeting, PLUS President Dacian Ciolos stated that the USR asked that he top the two parties’ list for the European Parliament elections, pointing out that he is open to leaving the list if need be.
In his turn, USR President Dan Barna stated that the PLUS National Council held a meeting in the first half of the day in order to discuss a political alliance for the European Parliament elections. Asked whether, in his opinion, Dacian Ciolos should top the list for the European Parliament elections, Dan Barna said: “In the variants we are now discussing, Dacian Ciolos tops the list. He holds the top position within PLUS and, obviously, after the two lists are combined, Dacian Ciolos will probably hold the top position.”
Following USR’s Political Committee meeting, Ciolos said that he will remain in the European Parliament for as long as necessary and will run for a new seat in the following years if need be.
Ex-PM Ciolos says it was USR asking him to open the joint list for EP elections
Former Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos on Saturday stated it was USR which asked him to be the first name on the joint list of USR-PLUS (Liberty, Unity and Solidarity Party) for the European Parliament elections and that he was ready to pull out, so that he will no longer figure on that list at all.
“It was USR’s request [that he will be the first name on the list – editor’s note]. I am ready to pull out and no longer figure on that list at all, if needed, it’s not something that I want to do no matter what, but this was USR’s request,” Ciolos said in the beginning of the meeting of the Political Committee of the USR, when he was asked how he commented on the fact that several members of the USR are not pleased with him being the first name on the respective list for the European Parliament elections.
In his turn, the USR leader Dan Barna mentioned that Dacian Ciolos is the first name on the respective versions of the list the two political parties are set to discuss.
“His name is the first on the PLUS list and, obviously, when the two lists will be combined probably he will still be on the first position,” stated Barna.
Ciolos: Main Opposition force has been born – the 2020 USR+PLUS Alliance
After the event, Ciolos announced that “the main Opposition force has been born: the 2020 USR+PLUS Alliance.”
“We want to do more than push aside those who are now governing, we want to build a real alternative and, in the next 10 years, to change Romania for the better and bring it where it fares well. (…) Today we can announce that this alliance exists, an alliance that will have representatives within the electoral bureaus, within the polling stations, because a MEP has joined PLUS several days ago. So, we start off with good premises. We start off with 7-8 thousand USR members, with more than 8 thousand PLUS members. We are preparing to collect signatures and we hope we will have the support of as many Romanians as possible who would credit us with presenting a list which, as you were able to notice, is a list of competent people who will know how to fight for Romania within the European Parliament,” Dacian Ciolos stated.
He pointed out that he hopes this would be only the first step in a project that would come to fruition during the parliamentary elections in 2020, when they would be able to hold a political majority that would change Romania for the better.
“Dacian Ciolos will top the list, followed by Cristian Ghinea, Dragos Pislaru, Clotilde Armand and the list continues as revealed to the press. It’s a list in which we have competence and consistent political experience on both sides, and this is the most important thing,” Dan Barna stated.
Asked whether he is a new man, Ciolos said: “I’m running for the first time and I undertake this candidacy all the way through. I’m running for the first time, but I come with certain experience including in the governmental activity.”
“It’s probably the best list Romania has had since ’89. The USR-PLUS joint list is a list of competent people. Basically, Romania will have before itself the option to choose the people who have embarrassed us for years in Brussels, and we consider that on May 26 the PSD will send its MEPs home, they will pack their bags, because the USR-PLUS joint list is a list never seen before in what concerns professional quality and competence,” USR leader Dan Barna stated.
Catalin Drula and Vlad Voiculescu will head the campaign.
USR’s message on Facebook: “We have an alliance! The 2020 USR-PLUS Alliance was formed at 8.20 p.m.”
PLUS message: “The main Opposition force has been born: the 2020 USR+PLUS Alliance. Our project is Romania. Now you have an option!”
On Saturday evening, Cristian Ghinea (USR) announced on Facebook that Ciolos and he will top the list of candidates in the European Parliament elections.
“USR’s Political Committee has just voted the USR-PLUS electoral alliance. A day of debates. Intense debates. It starts now. The force that will wipe out the PSD is being born. The alliance will be dubbed ‘2020 USR-PLUS.’ In the same team with Dacian once again. We will top the Alliance’s list. Proud,” Cristian Ghinea announced.
“2020 could be the end of the line for many of us. Or… it could be a new beginning! The main Opposition force in Romania has just been born: the 2020 USR+PLUS Alliance. Our project is Romania. And now we really have an option!” Vlad Voiculescu wrote.
“We have an agreement. USR and PLUS will jointly run in the European Parliament elections. (…) We will have the best candidates. We will have delegates within the polling stations. We will have air time. We are jointly making history,” House lawmaker Iulian Bulai (USR) wrote on Facebook.