President Iohannis nominates Social Democratic lawmaker Gabriel Vlase as SIE Director. Reactions

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President Klaus Iohannis nominates Gabriel Vlase as Director of the Foreign Intelligence Service (SIE), the Presidential Administration informs.

“In line with Article 65, Section 2, Letter h, of the Romanian Constitution, Romanian President Klaus Iohannis has sent a letter to the Speakers of the two Chambers of Parliament, proposing that Mr Petru-Gabriel Vlase be appointed as Director of the Foreign Intelligence Service,” reads the Presidential Administration communique.

Petru-Gabriel Vlase is Social Democratic House lawmaker, Deputy Speaker of the House, member of the Committee on Defence, Public Order and National Security, and member of the House and Senate’s joint special committee tasked with analysing and updating the national security legislation.

Petru-Gabriel Vlase graduated from the National Defence College of the National Defence University, the Superior National Security College, the National Intelligence Academy, and has a Ph.D. in military science and intelligence from the National Intelligence Academy.

 

Reactions to Vlase’s nomination as SIE Director

 

PSD Senator: Decision comes late

 

PSD Senator Viorel Salan stated on Thursday, after the Romanian President nominated Gabriel Vlase as Director of the Foreign Intelligence Service, that this decision has come late, but he will nevertheless support Iohannis’s nomination.

“The decision comes very late and as a result of PSD’s overtures. The President – maybe in his usual note of being mostly away – was not interested how long such a structure of extraordinary importance had an acting leadership. In what concerns our colleague, House lawmaker Vlase, he is one of the respected colleagues at the level of our party and I’m convinced he will indeed lead this structure very well. Categorically, I supported, I support, and I will continue to support any aspects that are good for our state,” PSD Senator Viorel Salan, Chairman of the House and Senate’s parliamentary inquiry committee, stated.

 

PNL House lawmaker after President nominates Vlase at helm of SIE: The nomination was predictable

 

House lawmaker Ovidiu Raetchi (PNL), member of the Defence Committee, stated on Thursday, after the President nominated Gabriel Vlase for the office of SIE Director, that this nomination was predictable since the PSD-ALDE coalition has the majority to validate the nomination.

“There is the custom of a balance between the services’ civil leaderships. Moreover, the PSD-ALDE majority wouldn’t have voted for a different variant. So, this nomination was somehow predictable on the part of the President. The challenges in the international security domain are ever more pressing. Aside from the political differences between us, sometimes blunt, Vlase has experience in the defence and SIE committees. As long as only PSD-ALDE has the majority to validate the nomination, Vlase’s nomination was somewhat predictable. As long as the proposal could only consist of a person backed by the parliamentary majority, there were only two or three persons with resumes in this field, and the President had access to information on each of them,” Ovidiu Raetchi stated for MEDIAFAX.

 

USR: Nominating Gabriel Vlase at helm of SIE, a tactical concession on the President’s part

 

Save Romania Union (USR) considers that nominating a candidate for the helm of the Foreign Intelligence Service (SIE) was necessary because there was the risk that this service would have been left without a leadership this year, and that nominating Gabriel Vlase is a tactical concession on the President’s part.

“The Foreign Intelligence Service hasn’t had a director since September 2016, after the resignation of Mihai Razvan Ungureanu. Moreover, SIE deputies reach retirement age this year. Nominating Gabriel Vlase at the helm of SIE is a tactical concession on the President’s part. Faced with the realistic threats of impeachment, which would have entailed the immediate replacement of the DNA Chief Prosecutor and the promulgation of the judicial laws, Iohannis is buying time and the Opposition can regroup,” House lawmaker Lucian Stanciu Viziteu (USR), member of the Intelligence Committee, pointed out on Thursday in a press release.

According to the mentioned source, it is difficult to find people without integrity problems within the PSD, and Gabriel Vlase “is an older member from Viorel Hrebenciuc’s camp,” his name appearing in the “Restitutions Case” but later being proven that he was not involved in it.

“In the last year, the PSD has fabricated a veritable conspiracy around the secret services, especially the SRI, which it placed at the centre of its propaganda about the so-called deep state. Claudiu Manda, the Chairman of the Intelligence Committee, has managed to put on a circus show all year, through various controversial hearings, which induced even more distrust in an important state institution, instead of helping to render SRI’s activity transparent. In case of impeachment of the President, PSD could have appointed Claudiu Manda – one of Liviu Dragnea’s cheerers at the DNA and former accountant for heavy-weight lawbreaking characters – at the helm of SIE, which would have been a disaster for SIE’s activity,” the communique reads.

 

Ludovic Orban: Gabriel Vlase is not the biggest possible evil

 

PNL President Ludovic Orban stated on Thursday, after the Romanian President nominated Gabriel Vlase for the office of SIE Director, that Gabriel Vlase “is not the biggest evil from PSD” and that he is absolutely convinced that the Head of State did not consult the leaders of PSD before nominating him.

“I’m convinced the President had extremely solid considerations and that he substantiated this decision very well. I know Mr Vlase, he is not the biggest possible evil from the PSD area and, at any rate, I’m convinced that Iohannis made this proposal and he made it without any kind of talks or agreement with any leader of the coalition. (…) I never heard PSD considering nominating Mr Vlase for the leadership of SIE, which tells me that this proposal has surprised Dragnea and very many of the calibans around Dragnea,” Ludovic Orban stated.

He added that the Liberals will decide within the Political Bureau whether to vote in favour or against Gabriel Vlase during Parliament’s confirmation vote.