Romanian reformists elect MEP Ciolos as president and rebrand into USR
Dacian Ciolos, a member of the European Parliament, former EU commissioner for agriculture and the head of a government of technocrats (2016), won the internal elections held by the Romanian reformist party USR-PLUS.
While the former PLUS leader defeated his USR rival at a very narrow margin (50.9% versus 49.1%), the elected leading body of the party (National Bureau) is dominated by USR members.
Ciolos defeated in the second round his rival Dan Barna - both of them having served as co-presidents since their two parties USR (Barna) and PLUS (Ciolos), decided, on August 15, 2020, to merge.
After he won the elections, Ciolos confirmed that USR-PLUS would not accept Florin Citu as the prime minister of a would-be coalition with the Liberal party (PNL). But he will advocate for a "right-wing" ruling coalition with the Liberals. He also confirmed that he is not seeking a seat in such a government.
As regards his role played in Brussels, he is going to renounce the leading position in Renew Europe group, according to local Mediafax.
Notably, former minister of transport Cătălin Drulă (610) received most of the votes for the National Bureau, followed by Dan Barna (592) and head of the USR-PLUS caucus in parliament Ionuț Moșteanu (582), G4media.ro reported. MP Emanuel Ungureanu floated the idea of nominating Drulă for the party's candidate in the 2024 presidential election.
From the PLUS team, most votes were obtained by Vlad Voiculescu (378), Anca Dragu (376) and Dragoș Tudorache (367), while Dacian Cioloș obtained 316 votes.
USR-PLUS decided to change its name to USR.
(Photo source: Inquam Photos/George Calin)