PM Ponta says he would want apolitical persons be appointed as SRI and SIE heads

Prime Minister and Social Democratic Party (PSD) Chairman Victor Ponta in Sinaia on Saturday said that he would want that apolitical persons be appointed for leadership of the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) and the Foreign Intelligence Service (SIE) and not to see repeated an older practice – that of politicizing those services.

“As PSD Chairman, we would want, because any proposal of the president comes to a vote, that the intelligence services heads be non-political persons. And this is what we would want to vote for, what the president decides, he will definitely tell us at the right time,” Victor Ponta said, in a press conference held in Sinaia.

When asked if by non-political people he understood people from the system, he said that not necessarily. “Not necessarily. The important thing is that I don’t want us to go back to an older practice – that of having political persons leading us. I believe the reforms over the past few years were in the direction of depoliticization and this trend shouldn’t be reversed,” Ponta underscored.

Victor Ponta ironically said he doubted that president Klaus Iohannis would propose for the SRI someone from the PSD. “Mr Iohannis is the one who makes the proposals, therefore, I don’t believe that the PNL [the National Liberal Party] is the Opposition for Mr Iohannis, but on the contrary. With a non-political person we have already solved the problems both with the power and with the opposition,” the PSD Chairman said.

When asked if George Maior could come back to the PSD, Victor Ponta said he had no such discussion with him. “I don’t know, we haven’t had such discussion, it is his decision. I haven’t talked with him and, allow me, not to speculate, not to give my opinion on TV about a person before I talk to that person and until we decide that we can make this thing public,” the Social Democrats’ leader said quoted by Agerpres.


Ponta denies he has ever talked with any politician about the appointment of the DNA chief prosecutor


Prime Minister Ponta on Saturday in Sinaia also denied  he had ever talked with any politician about the appointment of the prosecutor-in-chief of the National Anti-corruption Directorate (DNA), Laura Codruta Kovesi. Consequently, he added, he had not talked about such an appointment with Elena Udrea, either.

In an interview with www.hotnews.ro on Friday Elena Udrea claimed she lobbied PM Victor Ponta  to name Codruta Kovesi as head of the anti-corruption body DNA.

In reaction to Udrea’s allegations, Laura Codruta Kovesi told HotNews.ro that “it was not the first time when suspects under investigation make libelous allegations about me and I wouldn’t comment”.
“Mrs Udrea has never tried to influence me with anything. I have meetings with all politicians, because it is natural in a democratic political system to have talks with all politicians, friends or opponents. But, firstly, I don’t talks about this, as otherwise these meetings would never take place, and, secondly, referring to Mrs Kovesi, no, I have never discussed about that with any politician. I have never talked with any politician about the appointment of the DNA prosecutor-in-chief,” Victor Ponta said in a press conference held in Sinaia, when asked if he met Elena Udrea and discussed with her, among others, about the appointment of the DNA prosecutor-in-chief.

Victor Ponta, in context, pointed out that Elena Udrea, “as many other politicians, for years had only praising words about the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI)  and the  National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA). “Since Thursday, when she was called in to take responsibility for her actions, she has had the revelation on how bad those with the DNA and the SRI are. This is the reason for which most likely everyone is wondering why she did not say all these on Wednesday, why on Thursday, after it was found she had a criminal file? It is her right to defend herself in front of a difficult situation, so to speak. It isn’t easy at all to be called in to give answers concerning criminal offenses,” Ponta said.

Victor Ponta placed under a question mark the truthfulness of most part of the public statements Elena Udrea made in her interview with www.hotnews.ro on Friday.


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