Former Romanian PM Dacian Ciolos, who led a technocratic government in 2016, and a team including many ministers of that government announced the launch of a new party late last week. On Sunday evening, he claimed during a TV show that his Romania Together Movement has already drawn 30,000 supporters on its website, 17,000 of which want to become members.
Ciolos announced he had submitted the request to establish the Romania Together Movement with a local court and presented details of its political offer. The new party refuses to depict itself as right- or left-leaning, but pushes a center-leftist agenda which made pundits comment that it eyes both disgruntled voters, people who don't feel represented by the leading parties, but also the potential voting base of the ruling Social Democrats (PSD).
During a show on Realitatea TV news channel on Sunday evening, he said he fully supports President Klaus Iohannis.
One of Ciolos' closest associates, ex-minister Vlad Voiculescu, has also announced he would run for Bucharest Mayor.
In 2016, Ciolos led a technocratic government installed under a PSD-led parliamentary majority, following the fall of the PSD government of Victor Ponta as a result of a deadly fire at a Bucharest club in late 2015. While Ciolos' government made a series of reforms and was largely appreciated by educated voters, he was the target of massive negative campaigns and did not run for office once his term ended. The PSD eventually won the general elections in late 2016, taking back the government.