Why this story matters:
The party has emerged following widespread disillusionment with Romanian politics. To many, the field is occupied by an aging political class who lacks competence and dedication but refuses to give up its privileges.
It isn't the first time Dacian Ciolos is depicted as a symbol of hope. Romanians had high expectations for his 2015-2017 government, but these were crushed when he lost the elections.
It is an understatement to say that the successors, Romania's Social Democrats, were a disappointment. They angered voters by attacking the independence of the judciary and tried to amend tax law to satisfy ther political needs -- all of which led to protracted demonstrations and high-profile sackings.
This time, Ciolos wants to renew Romanian politics by promoting transparency and expertise. The ex-PM wants to work closely with the business community and civil society, since he believes that disillusionment and lack of political involvement is at the root of the current crisis.
These new promises obviously appeal to Romanians, but all are aware that Ciolos has a long way to go before being able to claim his mission accomplished.
Details from the story:
- Dacian Ciolos is an agronomist engineer. He was appointed as PM by President Iohannis after the resignation of Victor Ponta (PSD). He served as European Commissioner for Agriculture between 2010 and 2014. Since January 2005, he has occupied various positions in the Ministry of Agriculture.
- Within 48 hours after Ciolos's announcement, 26,012 Romanians registered as supporters and 16,036 declared the wish to become members as soon as the new party is approved by the Bucharest Tribunal.
- The logo and abbreviation of the new party is RO+.
- The Civic Platform for Rights and Freedoms Together, launched in September 2017, which brings together over 1000 NGOs and public figures, claims that the new party plagiarized its name, accusing it of a "lack of political imagination and legitimacy".
- Ciolos has announced that he will personally support Klaus Iohannis for his second mandate as Romania's president. In the next parliamentary elections, the RO+ party will back the candidate with the greatest chance of winning against the current PSD-ALDE coalition.