Dacian Cioloș has won the first round of internal elections for the USR PLUS leadership by 46%, while his contender Dan Barna has got 43.9%. The third contender, Irineu Darău, obtained 10.1%.
As no candidate obtained 50% plus one vote, a runoff vote will be held in the upcoming days.
“Out of 44,114 colleagues with the right to vote, 32,815 voted. The results are the following: Dacian Cioloș-46%, Dan Barna-43.9%, Irineu Darău-10.1%. The process continues with the second round “, the party spokesperson Ionuț Moșteanu announced. He said the runoff vote would begin in the coming days.
Thus, Dacian Cioloș was voted by 15,111 USR PLUS members, Dan Barna received 14,404 votes and Irineu Darău 3,300 votes.
USR PLUS members are called to elect the new president of the party resulting from the merger between USR and PLUS. The result of the online ballot is to be validated by the USR PLUS Congress which will take place on October 2 and 3, at Romexpo, in Bucharest. Voting took place online through a secure platform.
The voting procedure was suspended on the first day, for about 24 hours, after a technical error of the voting platform was found, due to which people who did not have this right could have expressed their option. As a result, the voting period was extended by 24 hours, until September 23, at 10.00.
In the coming days, the party leaders will also establish the conditions in which the congress will take place on October 2-3, after the increase in the incidence of COVID-19 cases. The Congress might be also held online.
Dacian Ciolos said that he did not see that result coming, adding that it is a tight competition between him and Dan Barna. Ciolos also stated that he if he won the internal elections he would resign in 2023 before the 2024 electoral year and that he would no longer run for the leadership of the Renew group in the European Parliament.
After being outranked by Dacian Ciolos in the first round, Dan Baran said that “suspense goes on” and that he is ‘optimistic’ about the runoff results. Barna added that it is hard to tell to what extent the internal elections in USR PLUS have been influenced by the decision to leave the ruling coalition and the Cabinet.