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  Nr. 3692 de joi, 3 august 2006 
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Intelligence services in politics
The law doesn't forbid the ex heads of intelligence services to take up politics after quitting leadership over the respective institutions. Radu Timofte, Gheorghe Fulga and Virgil Ardelean may become members of political parties at any time, just as Virgil Magureanu did in 1997, when not even one year after he had lost leadership over the SRI (Romanian Intelligence Service) he became a member of the "New Romania" Party. His success as a politician followed later on, after his party had had fusion with the PD (Democrat Party), at that time headed by Traian Basescu. Some of those who stood by the ex SRI chief are now honorable Democrats in power.
The story of Ioan Talpes, a head of the SIE (Foreign Intelligence Service) till the CDR (Romanian Democratic Convention) got power, then an adviser of President Iliescu's and then a senator, is different. His fondness of politics has recently made him establish a small political party, after serious flirt with Romanian Christian-Democrats. All the heads who have recently resigned were close to the ex party in power. Two of them were official members of the PSD (Social-Democrat Party): Timofte was a senator and Fulga was Iliescu's adviser. They proved political skill as they managed to keep official position even when the rulers changed. Virgil Ardelean is the champion. He got official position while Constantinescu was ruling and continued as chief under the presidency of both Iliescu and Basescu. Magureanu's decision to take up politics caused hot disputes at the time, with civil society claiming that an ex chief of an intelligence service should not be allowed to join a party for a certain time, for five years, for instance.
The issue should be tackled again as there is debate on national security is going on and the three officials who have just resigned may take up politics. Although no political group admits it, each of them is fathoming the means to make use of the "knowledge" the three ex heads of the intelligence services have got. The law doesn't prevent them from getting involved in politics and obstacles are of moral nature only, therefore they don't matter.
Anca HRIBAN 
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