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October 2, 2022

Parliamentary cttee confirms House lawmaker Gabriel Vlase, nominated by President Iohannis as SIE Director

PSD’s Gabriel Vlase, the House lawmaker nominated by President Klaus Iohannis for the office of Director of the Foreign Intelligence Service (SIE), was confirmed on Monday by the parliamentary committee for the oversight of SIE.

He was confirmed in a 5-1 vote, the vote against being cast by USR’s representative.

Vlase’s appointment at the helm of SIE will have to be validated by Parliament’s joint plenum.

The decision on Gabriel Vlase’s confirmation hearing was adopted last Wednesday by the House and Senate’s joint Standing Bureaus, without a date being set for the plenum’s confirmation vote.

On June 14, President Klaus Iohannis sent a letter to the Speakers of Parliament, proposing the nomination of House lawmaker Petru-Gabriel Vlase (PSD) as Director of the Foreign Intelligence Service.

Iohannis subsequently explained that he nominated Gabriel Vlase for the office of SIE Director after a careful analysis and taking into account his experience and training. The President pointed out that this was his nomination and that Vlase accepted it: “It was exactly my nomination. I had no kind of discussion with the PSD on this topic.”

Referring to the nomination of Gabriel Vlase, PSD leader Liviu Dragnea stated at the time that both he and Calin Popescu Tariceanu received a letter in this sense from President Klaus Iohannis, adding that “it raises more questions than clarifications.” In a jab at the President’s statement regarding the Constitutional Court decision on the dismissal of Laura Codruta Kovesi, Liviu Dragnea added: “I’ll read it until I’ll understand.”

“I suspect the press will ask me afterward. I’ll say it now so that they’ll use different questions. Let me speak a bit about the nomination for SIE. Indeed, we received an address from the President, both Calin Popescu Tariceanu and I, containing a nomination for SIE. And now I’ll quote a living classic, I’m trying to remember. This address raises more questions than clarifications, I’ll read it until I’ll understand, maybe we need to hold a debate on this topic, I’ll let you know. This is the answer to the unasked question about the nomination for SIE,” Dragnea said.

Senate Speaker Calin Popescu Tariceanu stated that Gabriel Vlase, nominated by President Klaus Iohannis for the office of SIE Director, is the right person for the job, adding that he is a man who left a good impression on him, even though he had previously said he was taken aback by the nomination. The ALDE leader also explained that the President realised that, had he come up with a different nomination, one from outside the PSD-ALDE coalition, it would have had no chance of passing through Parliament.

Gabriel Vlase is Vice President of PSD, on his fourth term as representative of Buzau County in the Lower House, and Deputy Speaker of the House. According to his resume, he has a Ph.D. in military science and intelligence from the National Intelligence Academy (ANI). In 2015, Vlase’s name appeared in the dossier concerning the illegal restitution of forests in Buzau County, a dossier in which former House lawmaker Viorel Hrebenciuc received a two-year executory prison sentence in May 2018.

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