Delegates of USR PLUS, ALDE Party member in Romania, gathered in person and virtually in Bucharest over the weekend of 2-3 October, where they validated the election of Dacian Cioloş MEP as the new party leader and elected the party leadership.
Cioloş won in the second round of the online vote of party members, winning 19,603 votes (50.9%) to his opponent Dan Barna’s 18,908 (49.1%).
Upon his confirmation as the new leader, Cioloş announced he would remain an MEP but step down as leader of the Renew Europe Group in the European Parliament.
1,200 delegates from all over the country participated and voted during the USR PLUS Congress, the first since the fusion of the two parties into one. Given the current pandemic situation, a maximum of 150 people were in the hall at any one time.
Speaking at the Congress, Cioloş thanked party members and looked ahead, saying: “For 2024, we must aim to win the presidential and parliamentary elections. You see what is happening today and how everything is paralysed because we depend on political forces unable to overcome their own party interest.”
“We have no choice but to choose between winning all the elections or becoming a hinge party, which we do not want and that is not the purpose for which we entered politics. Today we decide if we start the construction of a big party, strong and able to defeat all the other political forces.”
“Today we can say without a doubt that Romania has a reformist, pro-European party, deeply marked by democratic liberalism. The fact that today a merger process is coming to an end It is necessary to show us that all those who believe in reform and democracy have finally found a place from which they can work and fight for a better Romania,” he said.
ALDE Party acting co-Presidents Timmy Dooley and Ilhan Kyuchyuk addressed the Congress.
Timmy Dooley said: “Clearly, this is a party that is going places and you are clearly also a party that produces results. Even with just six ministers in government, USR PLUS were a driving force for liberal values in government and can point to many achievements during your time in office […] We hope, of course, that USR PLUS can return to government very soon, with an updated programme for the country post-coronavirus, and a new Prime Minister.”
Ilhan Kyuchyuk said: “We hope USR PLUS continues to play a hugely important role in Romania and in Europe, and I hope your party can work and move forward together behind your new leader to continue this mission.”
ALDE Party Vice President Alexander Graf Lambsdorff and European Commission Executive Vice President Margrethe Vestager also spoke via video message.
Delegates elected the 24 members of the National Bureau of the party, which according to the party’s Constitution is done on the principle of proportionality. Three lists of candidates contested the election with "USR PLUS in government 2024" obtaining 13,643 votes (57.32%) translating to 14 of seats, "United, We Succeed!" obtaining 8,001 votes (33.61%), eight seats, and "# Together USR-PLUS. Courage for Romania” obtaining 2,110 votes (8.86%) and will have two seats.
Photo credit: USR PLUS