The USR National Bureau – controlled by former chairman Dan Barna’s team – has convened on Monday morning to vote on the new party reform program proposed by the current chairman Dacian Cioloș. The incumbent president of USR conditioned his stay at the helm of the party on the adoption of the proposed program on Thursday evening, which generated the scandal in the party.
As the National Bureau had rejected the program proposed by Ciolos by 14 votes against and 11 in favor earlier in the morning, in retort, Dacian Cioloș announced his resignation in a press conference this afternoon, as he had announced a few days ago.
“I consider it is a normal and a common sense decision to file my resignation”, Ciolos argued, adding he has no intention to run again for the chairman position or to set up again PLUS.
“As long as I did not have support in the National Bureau for this plan, I considered it natural and common sense to submit my resignation, because the purpose for which I ran for the presidency of the party was to contribute to the modernization of the party. My belief is that USR is still an alternative on the political stage. We need a credible party, connected to modern society.
I remain in the party and I will look with the other colleagues who believe that the party needs refreshment, reconnection to society and the courage to recognize the limits I have to overcome”, Ciolos stated, announcing that Catalin Drula will become interim chairman till new elections are held within the party.
According to the USR Statute, the interim chairman position is taken over by the vice-president who obtained the highest number of votes at the Congress, and in this case that vice-president is Cătălin Drulă, who was minister of Transports while USR was in the ruling coalition with PNL and UDMR. Drula had actually said in a TV show at B1TV that he is ready to take over the leadership of the party.
“USR will also have to learn from participating in the government and provide a new platform for 2024. A party can be credible only as long as it has freshness and capacity for regeneration within. That’s what I wanted to do and I didn’t succeed. I remind you that in the summer I proposed to Dan Barna not to run any of us, precisely to create the conditions for regeneration in the party. Here we are, a few months later. I did not lack the strength, but the confidence that we could cooperate. Without that trust, not mimicked, it’s hard to succeed. I have made this program proposal in good faith, without any particular purpose. I asked for a vote with all sincerity. I’m not considering rebuilding the old Plus. It’s not a position that defines me”, Ciolos added.
Cioloș did not want to give up the setting up of an expert committee to propose ministers, nor the ban on party expelling on grounds of crime of opinion. Ciolos also wanted the USR secretary general George Marussi dismissed. On the other camp, Barna’s camp, the opinion is to maintain Marussi on the ground he is a true professional and they ask arguments for replacing him.
Dacian Ciolos said he does not want to negotiate the program because it is his program as president that has the “legitimacy of the vote,” while acknowledging that there is another majority in the Permanent Bureau.
“Each of us has applied with platforms that we are looking to promote and we did not take those to include, because those are yours,” said Cioloș.
The USR leader made it very clear last week that if his program does not pass the vote of the Permanent Bureau, he will resign from the USR leadership because “it means that our agendas are not compatible at all.” “So, yes, on Monday, if this program is not voted on (…) then I assume the consequences and resign, and I need another president who can implement his program, probably elected on another program.” he said last week.