Some 600 members of the Save Romania Union (USR) have signed a statement asking the party’s leadership to reconsider its decision to exclude from its ranks the vice president of the USR Ilfov county organization, Olimpia Ardelean. They accuse party leader Dan Barna of removing people who criticize him.
Dan Barna answered on Saturday to those who challenge him saying that “scandal can no longer be used for blackmail within the party,” according to Digi24.ro. He also claims that about 1,000 of his colleagues have also signed a statement supporting the decision to exclude Olimpia Ardelean as “correct”.
Olimpia Ardelean was excluded from USR late on Wednesday evening by the party’s National Bureau. Some of the Bureau’s members, however, opposed the decision and then signed the statement that criticizes this decision. Ardelean accused the party’s leaders that they excluded her for a Facebook post at the beginning of November, just before the first round of the presidential elections, in which she was saying that USR leader Dan Barna allegedly knew about another colleague using false signatures for the #FaraPenali initiative and did nothing about this. Meanwhile, USR posted a statement saying that Ardelean was not excluded for warning about the false signatures, but because she insulted party colleagues and her public statements may have affected Dan Barna’s chances in the presidential race.
“At the moment there is a very clear decision of the National Office. There is nothing to discuss. There is an appeal that our former colleague can use, if she deems necessary. Beyond that, the party must respect the decisions of the governing bodies,” said Dan Barna, in an interview at Digi 24 news channel on Saturday, when asked if it would be possible to review the decision to exclude Olimpia Ardelean from USR.
He explained that party needs to prepare for taking a role in the Government, which means assuming some political goals that its members must follow.
“The idea that scandal is a tool of internal blackmail for the stability of the party can no longer continue, because we will get to govern and, being in a governing coalition, this perspective in which various members consider the rules as optional puts us in a situation in which we will not be credible,” the USR leader said. He also called this a “schizoid approach”, which can’t continue even in the perspective of the local elections next year.
“The opinion of each member matters, the right to opinion is respected, but we also have to become a party that is serious, disciplined, and organized,” Barna added, explaining that a party member who, one day before the election challenges the party’s candidate, can’t benefit from the party’s support. Any colleague has the right to have an opinion, but when this opinion directly affects the work of the tens of thousands of colleagues in the country who were on the street sharing leaflets, he can express that opinion outside the organization. A political party has some goals and the people in the party must work for that goal,” the USR leader said.
However, he claims that, despite his defeat in the presidential elections and this internal scandal, the party is “by no means” weaker. He added that the party only needs some clarification, because “what has brought us here, won’t take us further”, adding that in any other party in Romania, a decision of the party leadership regarding the exclusion of a member who attacks the party’s legitimate objectives in the electoral campaign would raise no question.
(Photo source: Inquam Photos / George Calin)
A decision of Save Romania Union’s leadership to exclude one of the party’s members for a comment on Facebook, on...