The joint plenum of the Deputies’ Chamber and Senate will vote on Monday, at 16,00, on the nomination of Liberal (PNL) MEP Eduard Hellvig as the civilian head of the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) Director, Deputies’ Chamber Speaker Valeriu Zgonea announced.
“The joint standing bureaus scheduled the plenary sitting for Monday, at 16,000. (…) The first priority is the voting regarding the new SRI Director. The SRI committee report came in today,” Zgonea said on Wednesday, adding that the decision in the committee was made by 14 votes in favour.
He mentioned that the Liberals asked that the voting took place this Wednesday.
“I remind you that a decision was postponed on Monday, we didn’t know in how many days the SRI committee would make this decision. I don’t know if the committee can make a decision on the nomination of a Director in a day or two. (…) It is not my decision, nor President Tariceanu’s, we are not the ones to mobilise the members of the parliamentary groups so they attend a meeting. It was a decision made by all the parliamentary groups with a majority in the joint standing bureaus,” the Lower Chamber Speaker said quoted by Agerpres.
When asked what the Social Democratic Party (PSD) endorsed in the standing bureaus meeting, he showed that: “The PSD endorsed the Monday sitting, at 16,00. (…) It is a decision made by the PSD parliamentary group in the discussions in the group meeting on Monday.”
As for Calin Popescu Tariceanu, Speaker of the Senate, she said that he saw no reason for excessive rush with the voting. ‘There is scheduled work. I and the colleagues in the ruling coalition will propose that the joint plenary session should be called at the beginning of next week, most likely on Monday, perhaps Tuesday, to vote on the nomination of the SRI director’.
PNL is vehemently denouncing the Parliament’s heads’ decision to postpone the vote regarding Hellvig, accusing PSD of timing out the appointment of the SRI director.
The leader of PNL members of the lower Chamber, Ludovic Orban, said he was outraged by the new postponement and that he had no explanation for why PSD was doing that instead of keeping its word.
He stressed that there was no negotiation with PSD on the naming of the SIE and SRI directors because those things are not ‘the result of bargaining at the market’.
The decision of the Parliament’s leaders to postpone until Monday the vote on the appointment of Eduard Hellvig as Director of the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) initially scheduled for today defines all logic and generates many questions, the stiripesurse.ro website says.
A mega-coalition had already been formed behind Hellvig. Apart from the few PMP MPs, everybody said they would support Hellvig. Even without the endorsement of PSD MPs, Hellvig would have had a comfortable majority, which means that the majority issue is excluded.
The attendance would have also not been a problem. The working quorum condition was met today both at the Senate and Chamber of Deputies, with the MPs already present. The parties couldn’t have used the excuse that the MPs were in their constituencies and could not bring them to Bucharest in due time. So the issue of MPs presence is also ruled out.
The date of the vote in Parliament had been known since last week, so it wouldn’t have been a surprise to anyone.
If it was PSD’s idea to postpone the meeting, what would have been the reason since Hellvig would anyway be appointed even without their votes? What’s the difference between his appointment this week, next week or a month from now as long as he will be appointed anyway? – stiripesurse.ro wonders.
If there is no problem, why was the vote postponed?
One of the parties that initially supported Hellvig has changed its mind.
‘It’s hard to believe that it could be PNL. UDMR doesn’t matter anyway. As for PSD, even if none of its MPs had attended the voting , Hellvig would have still received enough votes. So PSD’s opposition would not be enough. The only party that could have caused the vote to be delayed is UNPR because only without UNPR and PSD Hellvig would not gather enough votes in Parliament. If UNPR has changed its mind, the question is why? Has UNPR learnt a compromising thing about Hellvig? If so, let them make that public’, stiripesurse.ro state.
Was there an underground deal and UNPR found out it would be cheated on? If so, what promise has been made for the leadership of SRI?
Could the intention be to validate both the head of SIE and the head of SRI on the same day, so they have decided to wait until Klaus Iohannis returns to he country to make his proposal? – the website further asks.
Rares Bogdan: By postponing the vote, Ponta defies Iohannis
Realitatea TV journalist Rares Bogdan thinks that by postponing the vote on Hellvig’s appointment to office Victor Ponta is defying President K. Iohannis.
‘PSD would like to keep, if possible, Mr. Ghita and Mr. Ponta at the helm of Romania for the next two years. Every day. PSD and Mr. Ponta demonstrate that they didn’t understand anything from the vote on 17 November. Klaus Iohannis reached out from Cotroceni to the Palace of Parliament trying to have a healthy cohabitation in Romania’s best interest. However, the Parliament of Romania defied him with its vote against lifting Varujan Vosganian’s immunity and Victor Ponta keeps defying him on the only proposal he ahs made so far – he appointment of Hellvig as SRI head, a widely embraced nomination’, Rares Bogdan said.
‘Well, Mr. Ponta continues to defy Klaus Iohannis. Mr. Zgonea and Mr. Dragnea, together with Mr. Oprea, continue to put the entire majority against Iohannis. This is a serious thing. In Mr. Zgonea, Mr. Ponta and Mr. Dragnea’s case, I am not surprised, because they don’t understand what’s going on. From Mr. Oprea I expect a step aside and an exit from this criminal coalition with PSD. Mr. Oprea has promised to vote on the same side as the president of Romania on matters of national security and strategic interest. I know him as a reliable person, I hope he quits this hook-up with Ghita and Ponta, Dragnea and Zgonea, and join national interest. We have a new cohabitation pact, this time an underground one – last night, Traian Basescu came out to speak about Eduard Hellvig for half a TV show and, today, Victor Ponta executes exactly what Traian Basescu said and procrastinates the vote requested by Klaus Iohannis and by NATO, because this country at a crossroads, hanging in the wind, and with a real war at its border needs a SRI head who can work with the executive leadership of the service’, the ‘Jocuri de Putere’ TV show host said.