The beginning of the party is placed, as a political idea, in the second
week after the second round of the presidential elections of the year
Some of us took an interest in politics somewhat earlier, in the spring
of 1999 when, feeling the danger of the reelection of PDSR with its vast
clique of cronies we put together a consultancy team which we dedicated
to the goal of preventing this reelection to happen.
Since we didn't want to attach ourselves at the time to any political
party, we decided that the most effective way for us to pursue our goal
was to support the President of the country, Mr. Emil Constantinescu,
in his bid for reelection.
Our consultancy team had seven members, all independent consultants with
proven track records and complementary skills which we deemed useful for
We presented our offer in writing to the President and followed up with
a meeting on the 31-st of August. We made very clear to him not only our
views on the subject at hand but also the fact that we don't want to become
members of any political party and we don't want any compensation, financial
After a couple of months of mutual appraisal our cooperation started in
February 2000, when three of us joined ASPEC, the NGO that was supporting
the reelection of president Constantinescu. The cooperation ended in July
2000 when the president withdrew from the reelection race.
During our participation in ASPEC we tried to give this organization a
culture and structure of a normal professional company, with clear roles
and responsibilities, objectives and tasks, management controls and reviews.
Because of the huge cultural discrepancies between our corporate type
mentalities and those of the people working there, which came mainly from
universities, NGOs and public service, the results of our cooperation
were far below our expectations and we certainly bear a large part of
the responsibility for this. At the beginning of August we pulled back
from ASPEC and returned to our lives and jobs.
Some of us also tried for a brief period to cooperate with the PM of
the time, Mr. Mugur Isarescu, who had just put up his name for the office
of the President, but this cooperation was very short lived because of
the big differences in our views.
When the second round of the presidential elections came we were put in
the difficult situation to choose between two people whom we saw as the
embodiment of evil and whom we held responsible for the dire situation
of the country, especially for missing the huge opportunities the country
had to change firmly and clearly to a capitalist democracy, like our neighbor
former communist countries. Some of us voted for Mr. Iliescu, but we felt
enormously deceived and betrayed. Others did not vote at all and this
only added to our sentiment of anger and frustration since this deprived
us of one fundamental democratic right.
The brutal aggression on this fundamental right that we so much cherished
by the combined action of PDSR manipulation and CDR ineptitude were the
straw that bends the camel for us. The following day we got together and
concluded that enough was enough. After 10 years of false starts, hesitant
mistakes, inconsistencies, absurd experiments, failures and reversals
it was clear to us that the political class, in its entirety, was unable
to provide the country with the solutions it needed.
We called upon each other and had our first meeting on Thursday evening,
four days later. We were 9 then, and only 3 of the 9 had been through
the quasi-political experience of 2000. We started by listing the values
and principles we believed in, in order to understand if we make for a
homogenous group and we can stick together. We liked what we saw in each
other and so we started to meet weekly and put together the project of
a new political party. Since then more people have joined the group, all
without any previous political involvement. We decided upon a name, a
logo, the main ideas of the statute, the expansion and communication strategies,
the target group, the main message, and so on.
The longest and most difficult part was to put together the 10,000 signatures
required by the law for the registration of a new party. Without any structure
or organization to assist us we had to lean on every contact, every relative
and every friend for help, so the process took almost 6 months, from February
to August 2001, far more than we had initially planned.
The biggest and nastiest surprise would come from another direction, however.
It started when we registered the complete documentation required by law
(10,250 signatures, notified to the public notary, with an index of the
database) at the Bucharest Tribunal on August 24 2001. Following closely
political orders the delaying machine of the justice system started to
grind us into dust, slowly and methodically, using all sorts of excuses
(some would be comic if they were not tragic) to delay us far more than
the 30 days mandated by law. So it took us another 6 months, from August
2001 to February 2002. Finally, on February 27-th 2002 the party was legally
We dedicated the following months to the work of re-establishing the
links and contacts we had lost during the long months of waiting and we
planned the public launch on July 10-th. We contacted Mr. Cornel Nistorescu
(whom none of us knew beforehand) and asked for his help in launching
our initiative. We liked his publicly expressed views on matters of interest
to us and we thought it would be a good match. It was indeed as he kindly
accepted to help us after thoroughly understanding who we are and what
we stand for.
We launched the party with a press campaign, avoiding a press conference
that we thought was too easy to sabotage by the enormous power of the
PDSR. Nevertheless their propaganda machine started immediately to spray
us with mud and innuendo. We were associated within weeks with most of
the dark figures that gravitate around Romanian politics, starting with
Emil Constantinescu, continuing with Guse, Patriciu, Nastase and ending
with Sorin Vantu.
The simple truth, maybe to simple to believe, is that there is no one
behind us except ourselves, our own careers, lives, beliefs and ideas
and the one and a half year long struggle to make this political project
They are our source of motivation and drive and they move us towards our
goal of creating a new breed of politicians in the Romanian politics,
one that will rise to the challenge of the years to come.
Starting from July 2002 we took on this task of rebuilding the Romanian
political class together with those that come along with us every day
in our party, Uniunea pentru Reconstructia României - URR. We want
to bring back the trust, respect, common sense, humility, altruism and
dedication that would make us once again proud to be Romanians, in a way
we haven't felt since December 1989...
Union for the Reconstruction of Romania - URR
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