Romanian President nominates new foreign intelligence service director from ruling party
Romanian president Klaus Iohannis nominated MP Petru-Gabriel Vlase of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) for director of the Foreign Intelligence Service – SIE.
The former SIE director, Mihai Razvan Ungureanu, resigned in September 2016 and the position has been vacant since then.
The president sent his nomination to the Parliament on Thursday, June 14, taking everyone by surprise, as he is currently in conflict with PSD. The ruling party is even considering suspending Iohannis for delaying a decision on dismissing the chief-prosecutor of the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) following a decision of the Constitutional Court.
While some opposition politicians said this nomination may be an attempt by Iohannis to appease PSD, the nomination also took the PSD leaders by surprise. Sources within PSD said this nomination, for which Iohannis hasn’t consulted the party, is actually a move that the president made against the party, local Hotnews.ro reported.
Gabriel Vlase, who is a vice president of PSD, has been for many years a close collaborator of the former PSD grey eminence Viorel Hrebenciuc. At the beginning of this year, he was counted among former prime minister Mihai Tudose’s supporters in his attempt to overthrow Dragnea and only then he switched to Dragnea’s team.
Vlase, 47, is currently at his fourth mandate as deputy in the Romanian Parliament, where he is also a vice president of the Chamber of Deputies. He graduated from the National Defense College, National Defense University, The National Security Superior College and the National Intelligence Academy, where he also got a doctor degree in defense and intelligence.
(photo source: Gabrielvlase.ro)