Save Romania Union (USR) leader Dan Barna was nominated the party’s presidential candidate at the party congress on Saturday. After the results were announced, Dan Barna stated that USR’s objective is to enter the Government in 2020, and all their efforts are geared to get them there next year. “On the other hand, the most interesting objective for Romania in these presidential elections will be the possibility to choose between the PNL candidate and the USR-PLUS Alliance candidate in the runoff,” he added.
Barna won 324 votes. His contenders were Mihai Gotiu (134 votes), Dumitru Stanca (5 votes) and Dragos Dinulescu (3 votes).
“We’ve taken yet another step toward the USR-PLUS Alliance’s objective to govern in 2020. The elections to nominate the USR candidate for the position of presidential candidate have taken place today within the USR’s statutory mechanisms. As a result of the elections, the USR has mandated me to represent this party. It’s a result that confirms the efforts made in the past 2 years, since I’ve taken the helm of this party, to develop and to be what Romania acutely needs: a new and fresh party that brings the active and modern society in the political spectrum in order to go forward in Europe. Today, our objective is to start governing in 2020, and all our efforts are geared to get us there next year. On the other hand, the most interesting objective for Romania in these presidential elections will be the possibility to choose between the PNL candidate and the USR-PLUS Alliance candidate in the runoff,” Dan Barna stated after the results were announced.
“We have a Game of Thrones-like vision, but as energy we are the Star Trek of Romania”
In the speech that preceded the voting, he stated that 3 years ago the USR set out on a road whose end point is the changing of Romanian politics.
Dan Barna stated that the USR-PLUS Alliance have a real chance to win the presidential elections. He said, in the applauses of those present at the Party Congress, that the USR is “Game of Thrones in terms of vision” but “the Star Trek of Romania” in terms of energy.
“Now is our time! After everything we’ve been able to achieve together in the past three years, I’m sure we have a real chance for the USR-PLUS alliance to give the President. And I know that you have the courage to join this competition. I know that we have the will to go all the way. We have a Games of Thrones-like vision, but as energy we are the Star Trek of Romania. All I am asking you is to trust me that I can successfully represent you also as a candidate for the Presidency of Romania,” Barna told the congress .
Barna revisited USR’s political journey as a formation that has succeeded in becoming the relevant voice of the street in society, by relying on the efforts of all those who have tried to change something in Romania in the last 30 years, as the party’s story identifies with that of entrepreneurs who started from scratch, defying pessimistic warnings that they would not succeed because they lacked connections and money, with that of civil society volunteers whom everybody tried to dissuade from trying to make a change in Romania, with the story of the youth who returned home after completing their studies abroad despite being told there was nothing to come back to, with the story of the teachers who continued to deliver without any help, of the doctors who continued to work in a sick system, and even with the story of the honest and competent public servants who are trying every day to change things despite the nepotism, corruption and imposture from the feudal side of the Romanian administration.
“This is actually the story of the people who took to the streets and remained there to fight the abuses and who withstood the tear gas and the gendarmes’ clubs on August 10. Our story is the story of all the Romanians who chose to no longer stand aside. This is USR,” said Dan Barna.
He also mentioned that since 2017 USR has grown from 1,700 to nearly 15,000 members, from 40 to more than 450 subsidiaries, that it has collected over one million signatures for the “No Convicts In Public Office” initiative and that together with the PLUS allies it has won over two million votes in the election to the European Parliament.
“We have grown into a political force that challenges the old parties, the PSD and the PNL, on equal footing. We have become full members of ALDE Group, we are founding members of Renew Europe – the third largest group in the European Parliament, and we are the only political force in Romania to hold the chairmanship of a parliamentary group in the European Parliament. (…) If there is a position in Romania that needs the most some of USR’s DNA, its courage, power of action and impetus, this is the position of President of Romania. The only political force in Romania that has a vision today and that has shown that it is willing to go further than any other formation in order to turn this vision into reality is the USR. We, USR PLUS, have stated what we want from the very first days of our party’s creation: we want a Romania where the law applies to everyone, where public money is spent fairly and transparently, where work and merits are valued more than money and connections. (…) We want to live in a civilized country. And I think each of us understands exactly what this means,” Dan Barna said.
According to him, the most relevant indicator for the definition of a civilized country is the Romanians’ desire to live in their home country, adding that with millions of Romanians having left the country driven away by the disastrous politics led in the past 30 years, one couldn’t expect those responsible for this grim reality to magically succeed in fixing things now.
“We are the only ones who can change this, and judging by the number of votes we received on May 26 from the young people and from those who left the country, I would say that they too believe the same, one quarter of Romania believes we can change Romania. And to those who tell us that we don’t have a chance, that we are not ready, let me remind them of the entrepreneurs who started from scratch, of the civil society volunteers, of the youth who returned, of the teachers, doctors, civil servants and all those who had the courage to not stand aside. Today we are stronger than ever,” the USR leader said in the conclusion of his address.