Mircea Ionescu Quintus, honorary president of the PNL (National Liberal Party), announced his resignation yesterday. He explained he had written reports to the ex Securitate (Communist Secret Service in Romania), but no information notes.
He made this statement yesterday after Constantin Ticu Dumitrescu, member of the CNSAS (National Council for Research on the Communist Secret Service Archive), had just accused him publicly of having signed two pacts with the ex Securitate and written 199 information notes.
Sources close to PNL leaders say yesterday before the meeting the honorary president hadn't come determined to resign, but he decided it the minute the Liberals started discussing about the Mona Musca case. Sources claim: "Journalists phoned him and he could feel attention would focus on him again and he didn't want to be compared to the Mona Musca issue." Quintus himself commented: "There is a Justice court decision that I did not collaborate with the Securitate as political police. I am dignified enough to resign so that the party won't get into one more scandal. It has been hard. I have been a member for 70 years and I went to jail for the sake of this party." He kept on denying any commitment to the ex Securitate. He mentioned he had known Ticu Dumitrescu for a long time, but admitted having never asked him how come a political detainee could be awarded the Labor Order.
Still Quintus said he felt offended because his name was on the same list including the name of Social-Democrat senator Ion Iliescu: "When I was in prison, Ion Iliescu was the boss of Communist youth."
Varujan Vosganian, a spokesman for the PNL, explained: "It has been a thorough debate on how to approach the collaboration with the ex Securitate. We must make a difference between the system's victims and those who collaborated to get privileges. We can't turn the victims of the Communist system into victims one more time and treat them just like those who signed pact with the ex Securitate for privileges, although there was no pressure on them." He went on: "Given these, Mircea Ionescu Quintus, honorary president of the PNL, was dignified enough. He announced his resignation in the opening of the debate. We believe this is honorary attitude." (...) (R.G., O.B.)