The representatives of some parties together with some political analysts have been lately claiming that Traian Basescu is building dictatorship for himself. In other words, his wish to control all the repression, intelligence and Justice institutions is ill omen for Bucharest democracy. As for me, I don't think things are so bad. Still Basescu is tenaciously building himself a vital area and the instruments he needs for biased interference in politics. Today such a danger is as big as dictatorship used to be in the past. Given his ambitious, his victory regarding the Ministry of Defense is a diamond in the presidential crown.
There has lately been much rumor on a bargain or some negotiations. Regardless of the way we take the latest agreement between Traian Basescu and Calin Popescu Tariceanu, my conclusion is that it is a step back for the Liberals and also an advantage for both the President and the Democrat Party. The President intends to use the latter party as the basis of an electoral vehicle for a second presidential mandate. By his rapid decision that Frunzaverde should take over the Ministry of Defense Traian Basescu has ended the first stage of his plan to grab more power than his predecessors, the ones following after Ceausescu, had. Right now the President has actually got all the intelligence services at his feet. There is an institution called the National Intelligence Community, subordinate to Cotroceni Palace. No matter the way parliamentary debates end, the new national security laws, an initiative coming from Cotroceni Palace as well, will provide more power to the intelligence services. In some regards, it will disfavor citizens and democratic institutions. Since promulgation too is up to the President, this set of laws is unlikely to run across incidents.
Justice, headed by Democrat Monica Macovei, is becoming a presidential institution. This state of things is even more obvious now. The stenograms of an incautious and indecent conversation of Macovei's has become public. Through the Justice Ministry, both the Prosecutor's Office and the National Anti-corruption Department are headed by people Presidency Administration likes. This is why the blackmail on Atanasiu worked magic. The latter found himself harassed by means of criminal cases so that he would be driven away from the Ministry of Defense. The fact that Liberal Atanasiu was a low skilled minister who dropped some intolerable bricks was just a circumstance favorable to Basescu. Frunzaverde, who was a minister of defense in the past too, is likely to make a successful minister. But the Democrat leadership over the Ministry of Defense means one more vote for the Democrats in the government and one more vote for Basescu in the Supreme Council for National Defense. The pretext that this decision is meant to harmonize the foreign affairs activities of the Ministry of Defense with those of the Foreign Ministry is ridiculous, since a Social-Democrat runs the former and a Liberal heads the latter institution. There is also the fact that the President has also got control on the Interior Ministry via minister Vasile Blaga.
Therefore one single center of power is now in control of the defense, repression and Justice institutions. If they are abusively used, there will be a real show: manipulation of criminal inquiries, home searching, arrests, phone call intercepting, criminal cases and even sentences. As for the means used to arrange elections, it seems the scandal on Vosganian is related to such a demonstration. A surprise such as the one coming from Jurnalul National daily was unlikely to come up. Had Vosganian been an officer in the Foreign Intelligence Service in Romania, it should have been told before he became a nominee for an EU commissioner. This is the task of state institutions. If he had not been a member of the ex Securitate (Communist Secret Service in Romania), we should have known it before he was chosen. There should have been a verdict of institutions entitled to it. Their silence was guilty or manipulated.
Because the Liberals lost leadership over the Ministry of Defense, Calin Popescu Tariceanu is for the first time facing opposition from his real supporters in the National Liberal Party. What can the Romanian PM, also a president of Romanian Liberals, offer in exchange to support? I am afraid he can offer too little, whereas the diamond in the presidential crows shines and it can make us go blind, until the presidential privileges are institutionalized by means of a Constitution Basescu is longing for.