Does Melescanu’s future include a seat at Cotroceni?


“We have not discussed this matter. I am available if interest is shown in this respect,” said the head of the Foreign Intelligence Service in an interview on DIGI 24.

Teodor Melescanu, Director of SIE (the Foreign Intelligence Service), stated the Service does not get involved in electoral campaigns, but he underlined he wishes to return to politics after his SIE term ends. “I regard the position of Director of SIE as a detour in my political career that offers me the opportunity to make a comeback at any time. I think it would be a shame not to be able to capitalize on all the information I’ve gathered during his time,” Melescanu said, as cited by Mediafax.
He went on to explain the only way to “capitalize” on this experience is from a position of authority that offers prerogatives in a certain field – be it security or protection policies – and enables one to meet many people behind the scenes. “What is important is not owning information, but rather understanding why certain things happen,” the head of SIE said. He also expressed his desire to be able to issue comments and express his opinions on live television on a regular basis.
When asked if he is considering running for president, Melescanu replied, “I haven’t discussed such matters with anyone. As far as I am concerned, I am available if interest is shown in this respect.”
On the other hand, Melescanu explained the head of SIE is the only politically appointee of this institution, whereas all other employees from deputies upward are appointed solely in accordance with their qualifications. “For this reason, all SIE employees are aware the only possible defense is defending the law. Secondly, they are not motivated to help some against others because they are not concerned with politics.” He emphasized that promotions are carried out according to a point-based criterion, which rules out political support as a method for career advancement. “Even if you’ve been loyal to someone behind the scenes, for instance, it will not help your career. That is why I fail to see the motivation,” Teodor Melescanu said further. He noted he is the only member of SIE who keeps in touch with politicians. “One of the fundamental principles I have followed during electoral campaigns or particularly tense periods of time was to keep ties with everyone. I do not believe we should give out information on each other. If it is necessary for the decision-making process, information will be relayed to everyone, without favoritism or discrimination.”
On a change of topic, referring to the controversy surrounding Edward Snowden’s disclosure, Teodor Melescanu stated 95 per cent of all “study” satellites are in fact espionage satellites. He advised Romanian dignitaries to avoid conversations via usual mobile phones, particularly when abroad, and instead use the communication lines provided by Romanian diplomatic missions.
In favour and against Melescanu’s return to politics
Liviu Dragnea, executive chairman of PSD, stated he is not against Teodor Melescanu returning to politics, since he was a very good politician. “Mr. Melescanu was a very experienced and remarkable high ranking politician,” Dragnea noted. “This is still a free country, and anyone can run, if they feel they are capable and have the public’s support,” he added, commenting on a potential run for president by Melescanu.
In turn, Catalin Predoiu, First Vice-Chairman of PDL, characterized the notion of going into politics and using confidential information as “questionable.” “Everyone has their own personal agenda. I would not like to speculate, but the general notion of going into politics and using confidential information is questionable.” When asked whether he envisions Teodor Melescanu as a presidential candidate, Predoiu replied, “I cannot envision anyone as a presidential candidate before they have made an official announcement.”
On a different topic, Cezar Preda, Vice-Chairman of PDL, urged Liberal Democrats on Friday to support Catalin Predoiu as a contender in the presidential race, by emphatically asking all his party colleagues – “be they blond, brunette, or brown-haired” – to stop “making up” presidential candidates. Preda was referring to deputy Elena Udrea, who stated in the middle of last week that “there are rumors” about Emil Boc running for president after the MEP elections and expressed hope this would materialize.

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