Victor Ponta qualified as “nonsense” the accusations of PNL that Social-Democrats are delaying voting for appointing Eduard Hellvig as director of the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI).
“We will vote for the nomination made by President Iohannis for Chairman of SRI; yet, at the same time, we wish to have a public discussion in the Parliament between political forces and public opinion on dropping hypocrisy. Last year, I kept on hearing that PSD should not grab all the power and this approach was fair. Now, I do not think it is valid anymore. Now, all appointments are made out of PNL, and I do not think that it is fair, I do not think that it leads to a well-preserved balance.
As we are speaking about Hellvig, with whom we have worked very well during important and difficult moments, in USL, we will vote for him, yet, we should principially discuss whether all important institutions in Romania should be led solely by people belonging to the same political force”, Ponta explained.
Asked whether he discussed the appointment of a head at the Foreign Intelligence Service with the Head of the State, under the circumstances of the balance he was talking about, Ponta replied:
“I do not think that the President would nominate a Social-Democrat; let us not deceive ourselves. This is how dictator Basescu acted; he only appointed members of the opposition. Now, that we are in democracy, no member of the opposition will be appointed. But let us continue discussing; keeping a balance is the best solution”.
Insistently asked what was the accurate meaning of “balance”, Ponta refused to give explanations, mentioning that he did not want to transmit this thing through the media.
“I am talking about a balance between people who represent political forces. We are representing millions of people, just like PNL and Iohannis do, and the smaller parties do, too, and it would be good if a balance was preserved. It is a principle we had agreed on last year, and now, PNL starts thinking differently, which shows hypocrisy”, Ponta added.
The Prime Minister also responded to Ludovic Orban, the leader of the PNL group in the room, who claimed that he did not understand the attitude of PSD and that “he fooled many members of the Parliament that they wanted to negotiate the management of the Foreign Intelligence Service (SIE)”.
“I think that Mr. Orban’s lack of decency and his rude behaviour are the main explanation for my colleagues saying that we were not slaves on Mr. Orban’s plantation. Mr. Orban pretended he was talking to me. I have not talked to Mr. Orban in the last few years and I fo not intend to talk to him in the next few years, considering that he was the person who filed criminal complaints against my wife, which is a thing of a rare meanness, even in Romanian politics”.
PNL’s Gorghiu: We do not understand why PSD postponed voting for Hellvig
PNL Co-Chairman Alina Gorghiu appreciated as impossible to understand the decision of PSD to postpone the meeting of the plenum of the two Chambers, where the voting would decide the new Head of the Romanian Intelligence Service, a position Iohannis had nominated MEP Eduard Hellvig for.
“In my opinion, it is impossible to understand. I do not understand PSD’s motivations. I understand that they have none. It is sad, it is not for the first time and it will be certainly not for the last time that PSD has no explanation regarding why they are postponing a reunited plenum meeting”, Alina Gorghiu declared after the common meeting of the Permanent Bureaus of the Parliament Chambers, when it was decided that the plenum meeting would be held next Monday.
Asked whether it is possible that PSD might have postponed the meeting in order to negotiate the appointment of a Social-Democrat as director of the Foreign Intelligence Service (SIE), Gorghiu replied: “I do not know any reason why PSD decided to postpone the reunited plenum by their vote in the Permanent Bureaus. I know nothing about any negotiation. I doubt that there might be any negotiation on this matter. Because the proposal for the next leader of SRI or SIE is not decided at the level of the Parliament. According to the Constitution, the proposal comes from the Head of the State”.
According to Gorghiu, PNL did not negotiate any appointment to Intelligence Services with PSD and their discussions only referred to the Constitution Revision Committee”.
“I talked to President Antonescu, who had told me that he had resigned the position of President of the Committee and, as a consequence, I discussed with the members of PSD and we decided that it was high time we did some changes at this point. At the Revision Committee, I had quit, Crin Antonescu had quit, Petre Roman has exited the structure because he had lost his position and George Scutaru is no longer a member of the Parliament. A few changes were needed in the team of this Committee, and we made them”, Gorghiu declared, adding that PNL and PSD decided that Liberals should lead the Committee for Electoral Code and Social-Democrats should lead the Constitution Revision Committee.
The reunited plenum of the Senate and the Chamber of Deputy will vote on Monday, starting at 4 pm, the nomination of Liberal Eduard Hellvig as Chairman of the Romanian Intelligence Service, the President of the Chamber of Deputies Valeriu Zgonea announced on Wednesday after the meetings of the Permanent Bureau, where the decision received 14 positive votes and a negative one.