Power struggle in Romanian opposition party USR

Dacian Cioloș, leader of the main Romanian opposition party USR since October, has resigned after an internal power struggle. Vice-President of the party Cătălin Drulă has taken over as the USR's interim leader. Commentators wonder what will now become of USR, which started as an anti-corruption formation.

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Adevărul (RO) /

Fighting for survival

The USR is going through a serious leadership crisis, writes journalist Ion M. Ioniță in Adevărul:

“This phenomenon is hitting almost all the big parties in Romania hard, from the PNL to the AUR. But things are much more serious for the USR. The formation of a governing majority comprising the PSD and PNL has upset the balance in the political scene: the USR and AUR are now having to lead the opposition, with the AUR almost completely hogging the discourse because of the USR's weak showing. ... Cătălin Drulă's time as interim president of the USR will be essential in determining the future of the party, if it has a future at all, that is.”

Deutsche Welle (RO) /

Typical wrangling for power

With its internal struggles the USR has shown that it is no better than any other party, writes journalist Sabina Fati in the Romanian service of the German broadcaster Deutsche Welle:

“The dilemma in which Dacian Cioloș and the USR are stuck has to do with the structure of democratic institutions in Romania: Their architects always try to make them vulnerable, unstable and easy to dismantle. ... The wrangling for power and influence since the party elected a leader of European calibre [Cioloș was chair of the Renew Europe group in the EU Parliament before his election as president of the USR] is a sign that USR is changing and starting to look like the other parties, which attach little importance to values and set up everything according to their own interests.”