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The Presidential elections, under the rod of the Secret Services


The intelligence structures in Romania have always been suspected of involvement in the fight for the seat at Cotroceni


The scandal of the candidate who was or is an undercover officer of a secret service, launched by President Traian Basescu, highlights again the involvement of the intelligence structures in the campaign and election processes, especially the presidential ones, the most important of all.

Even though the theory regarding the role of the intelligence services in the presidential elections is, of course, unofficial, the events that took place every election year have demonstrated that the intelligence services have influenced, one way or the other, the election and imposition of a candidate. Creating diversions by launching fake discussion topics that would capture the public opinion, or causing and maintaining public scandals around a certain candidate or party are the main effective methods used by the services on behalf of a presidential candidate, in the last 25 years.

It should be noted what PNL (National Liberal Party) Eurodeputy Norica Nicolai was saying two years ago, around the legislative elections. Asked whether she believes that the intelligence services are involved in the campaign, Norica Nicolai responded: “It is difficult to make a positive statement, but I do not exclude an involvement through type of messages and through many other ways which I have seen abroad”. Nicolai added that she wouldn’t want the intelligence services to have candidates in the election, appearing on the lists.

But still, this aspect is now pointed, in the 2014 elections, even by launching a diversion about a so-called candidate who was an undercover officer. We also shouldn’t ignore the fact that a former secret service chief is taking part in the race for the Cotroceni Palace.

1990 PRESIDENTIALS. Ion Iliescu, the first post-Decembrist president, with the support of former Security members

Backed by a group of former Security members with which he participated in the overthrow of the Ceausescu government, Ion Iliescu was voted by over 12 million people in what was to remain in the post-Decembrist history as The Blind Man’s Sunday (Blind Man’s Sunday is a holiday in the orthodox calendar, but has gained a pamphleteer sense, as the Romanians voted blindly). That day, the Romanians elected him in the detriment of Radu Campeanu and Ion Ratiu, politicians without the power which Ion Iliescu was benefiting from, thanks to the secret services.

The “parent” of the FSN (National Salvation Front) managed to win despite being faced with his most tremendous challenge, not only directly, where his opponents Radu Campeanu and Ion Ratiu (coming from London and Paris) explained to no end to the voters what the FSN leader was representing, but also indirectly, from the informal leader of the opposition, Corneliu Coposu, the president of the Christian Democrats Party (PNTCD), and the marathon demonstration from the Universitatii Square.

1992 PRESIDENTIALS. The diversion-creating machine starts to operate

Ion Iliescu, backed by the FDSN (The Democratic National Salvation Front), the successor of the FSN, managed to renew his presidential mandate, but not without palpitation, unlike on the 20th of May, 1990. Several other candidates had entered the race, including then young politician Emil Constantinescu, supported by the Democratic Convention of Romania (CDR). It was a coalition formed on the 26th of November, 1991, from 14 parties and civil society organizations (the three “historical parties”, plus the new political parties, including the UDMR – the Magyar Democratic Union of Romania). Ion Iliescu entered the 2nd round, defeating Emil Constantinescu, but not easily (47.34% – 31.24%).

In the 1992 campaign, the obsessive theme propagated by Ion Iliescu and the FDSN, with the help of the secret services, was that “the Hungarians are coming to take Ardeal (Transylvania)”, with the help of the CDR, which the UDMR was part of. It is true that Ion Iliescu was helped in the electoral campaign by ultranationalist Gheorghe Funar, ranked third, at the time member of the PUNR (the Romanian National Unity Party), subsequently of the PRM (The Great Romania Party), but the diversion-creating machine worked.

1996 PRESIDENTIALS. Virgil Magureanu turns his weapons against Ion Iliescu

On the 17th of November, 1996, Emil Constantinescu takes revenge for the failure in 1992. He wins in front of Ion Iliescu through the support of the CDR, in the 2nd round, defeating him easily. The adversity which the SRI (Romanian Intelligence Service) head Virgil Magureanu began to manifest towards his “friend” Ion Iliescu had become notorious. That year, on behalf of the CDR, respectively the Opposition, came the unexpected help of the former SRI captain Constantin Bucur, who, in full election year, talked in an interview about how Virgil Magureanu and Ion Iliescu gave the order to tap the phones of some journalists and politicians of the Opposition. Within 24 hours he was removed from the SRI.

At the same time, the CDR was an ardent supporter of Horia Roman Patapievici, “victim” of “captain Sun”, a scandal instrumented by Virgil Magureanu in order to discredit Ion Iliescu, whose regime was severely criticized by the philosopher in the magazines which he was writing.

2000 PRESIDENTIALS. The “Costea business” vs. “Rona Hartner’s Journal”

In the year 2000 we had two huge scandals, handled more or less well – “The Eternal and Fascinating Romania business” and Emil Constantinescu’s sexgate.

„The Eternal and Fascinating Romania business” was a monster-scandal which led to the opening of an echoing criminal record. Ion Iliescu himself was heard at the General Prosecutors’ office in the file regarding the printing of election posters for the 1996 campaign and an album entitled “The Eternal and Fascinating Romania”, by the company of one of his former advisers, Adrian Costea. Without knowing the source and purpose, an accusation against Adrian Costea triggered the investigation in France. The businessman was arrested for almost a month, and the investigation was extended to Romania and Switzerland.

His counseling skills gave Adrian Costea total confidence from former presidents Ion Iliescu and Emil Constantinescu, but also from Teodor Melescanu, back then Minister of Foreign Affairs and also presidential candidate of the Alliance for Romania (APR). If Teodor Melescanu and Ion Iliescu accredited Adrian Costea as “personal ambassador” in France, when he did not have problems with the French law, President Emil Constantinescu extended his jurisdiction throughout the South-Eastern Europe, in March 2000, when Costea was already being investigated in Paris.

In Romania, the scandal turned into a criminal case, closed by the Prosecutor’s Office, on the ground that “the deed is not stipulated by the criminal law”. It is not known who the beneficiary of this scandal was in the end, because the main presidential candidates all had their names tied to Adrian Costea’s businesses – Ion Iliescu, Teodor Melescanu, Theodor Stolojan.

Do not forget about the sex scandal, launched on the market a year before the elections by Corneliu Vadim Tudor, Ion Iliescu’s friend. In early 1999, the “Tribune” waved several pages from a so-called journal of actress Rona Hartner, saying that she had an affair with Emil Constantinescu, making the former President to declare “I was defeated by the Security”. At the time, the intelligence specialists said that the “journal” received by Vadim was a fake, being created from a layout used in the case studies of the former Security.

2004 PRESIDENTIALS. Traian Basescu wins the elections by launching the vote-fraud scandal, supported by Virgil Magureanu’s house man

During full electoral process in 2004, one of the candidates launched, with the style with which he would rather accustom us later, a vote-fraud scandal.  Apparently, the subject produced in the secret services’ laboratories, was launched and used as a back-up by Traian Basescu, between the two election rounds, to discredit his opponent Adrian Nastase, which gave him every reason to fear in winning the elections. Proof that the criminal case opened was closed a few months later.

The scandal of the alleged election fraud broke out between the two rounds of voting, on the 30th of November, 2004, when Traian Basescu, co-chairman of the D.A. Alliance, demanded to cancel the results, alleging electoral fraud. The proof which Basescu gave at the time in order to support his accusation was a variation in the number of invalid votes recorded, as it appeared in the newsletter distributed by BEC (Central Electoral Bureau). Specifically, Traian Basescu was accusing the electronic “transfer” in the benefit of his counter candidate, Adrian Nastase, of 160.000 votes, officially declared as canceled. In this context, Traian Basescu claimed that fraud occurred by vitiating the software and demanded, besides canceling the elections, the immediate arrest of the head of the National Institute of Statistics, sealing the computers and interrupting the electoral process. The software used by BEC was checked by Serbian experts who concluded that there were no problems.

The D.A. Alliance, which was supporting Traian Basescu, filed a criminal complaint against the President of BEC, Judge Emil Gherut, and against the members of BEC. The accusations were of abuse of office, forgery, actions against the constitutional order, communicating false information and associating in order to commit crimes. There was also a referral to article no. 108 from Law no. 373/2004 – introducing in use and using a computer program with apparent or hidden vices, which alter the results recorded at polling stations , total errors or lead to the distribution of mandates outside the law, constitutes as an offense punishable with imprisonment between 2 to 7 years.

Next year, on the 20th of May, the General Prosecutor’s office decided that the offenses filed by the D.A. Alliance do not exist and, therefore, decided not to start the prosecution (NUP) and to close the file.

Meanwhile, the former BEC president Emil Gherut went public and criticized Traian Basescu for requesting to cancel the elections.

It is not allowed to bring such serious accusations against us just for the sake of winning or just for registering in the electoral race which you didn’t win in the first round, as Mr. Basescu praised himself

Emil Ghergut
Former President of BEC

Following these statements, the D.A. Alliance asked the Superior Council of the Magistracy for Gherut’s exclusion from the Magistracy. On the 29th of March, the CSM (Superior Council Magistracy) sanctioned Gherut. After only a few days, Emil Gherut retired. On the 4th of April 2005, Traian Basescu, after becoming President, was signing the decree to dismiss Judge Emil Gherut through retiring.

„The trumpet” of this story was the executive secretary of the Democratic Party, Dorin Iacob. His past explains the theory of the involvement of the secret services in the elections. Before 1989, Dorin Iacob was an officer in the Minister of Interior. After the Revolution, he was recruited by the SRI (Romanian Informational Services), becoming head of cabinet and the man trusted by the SRI Director Virgil Magureanu. Dorin Iacob followed Virgil Magureanu in the Romanian National Party (PNR), which was founded by the former SRI Director in 1998. As PNR VP, Dorin Iacob publicly defended the former collaborators of the Security with whom he was colleague. Dorin Iacob joined PD (Democratic Party) with the unification of Virgil Magureanu’s party with Traian Basescu’s party. As executive secretary of the PD, during the campaign for the local election in 2004, Dorin Iacob was responsible for the Democratic Party’s strategy.

2009 PRESIDENTIALS. The fight between the intelligence services – from the DGIPI archives scandal, at Geoana’s visit, via “the hand in Ploiesti” – Happy end with the STS (Special Telecommunications Service)

The 2009 elections represented the battlefield between the secret services or between certain camps belonging to them, each of them being obedient to one of the candidates. Three subjects were in the spotlight of the public opinion, each of them being fabricated and handled in the laboratories of the intelligence structures.

On October 15, 2009, before the official start of the campaign, the incumbent President Traian Basescu accused the former Minister of Internal Affairs, Dan Nica, to have put MAI’s Secret Service (DGIPI) at the disposal of Marian Vanghelie, Dumitru Iliescu (former head of the SPP – Defense and Security Service -, counselor of Ion Iliescu, involved in the “Eternal and Fascinating Romania” file) and Catalin Voicu (Former SPP officer and PSD – Social Democratic Party – Senator).

Traian Basescu stated that day at B1 TV that it’s possible for Marian Vanghelie to have had access to the secret archives of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MAI).

That service was totally made available by Mr. Nica to Mr. Vanghelie, Mitica Iliescu’s, former SPP general, Voicu’s, the parliamentarian

Traian Basescu
president of Romania

Both Dan Nica and Marian Vanghelie denied the accusations. If the former Minister of Internal Affairs replied, accusing Traian Basescu of wanting control over DGIPI, Marian Vanghelie put his mayoral chair and political activity on the line if all of this would be proven. The President of PSD Bucuresti stated that his information came from “friends” from state structures, him not having direct access to them. A month before this scandal, the PSD Bucuresti leader, Marian Vanghelie, stated at the TSD (The Youth of the Social Democratic Party) summer school, that the DGIPI archive is “in good hands” and “if it will be necessary” he will use the information from the files, which could compromise the President. He hinted that he would have received information from the SRI regarding Mircea Basescu’s businesses, information that could be strengthened by the existing ones in the secret service of the MAI. The spark of this scandal was lit in the spring of that year, by the DNA prosecutors’ raid at the DGIPI offices and the arrest of their leader, at the time Cornel Serban.

To counteract this scandal, during full electoral campaign, before the first round, the mass-media was showing the video in which Traian Basescu appears to be hitting a child over the face, during his electoral campaign from 2004 in Ploiesti. If initially, Traian Basescu was refusing to answer whether or not he had hit the child, subsequently an investigation was opened, and the National Criminalistics Institute analyzed the video material, stating that it was in fact a fake. Many voices said that the video was launched at an improper time and that it should have been broadcasted between the two rounds.

Just a few days before the 2nd round of the elections, during the confrontation between the two presidential candidates, Traian Basescu and Mircea Geoana, the first one revealed how the PSD candidate visited, in the previous night, the home of a “criminal”, respectively Sorin Ovidiu-Vantu. In the press supposedly subservient of Traian Basescu, photos appeared depicting Mircea Geoana entering the house of the businessman who owned the station which organized the final debate – Realitatea TV.

Coincidence or not, the moderator was Robert Turcescu, the journalist who would admit, five years later, around the presidential elections, that he was an undercover officer of the Military’s secret service. Subject about which it’s said to have been fabricated in the laboratories of the secret service in favor of President Traian Basescu, the same one that launched the “undercover candidate” scandal. It remains to be seen if this scandal will have the wanted effect.

In the end, Mircea Geoana became President…for a night. In that night it is said that one of the secret services, STS, actually decided who the President of Romania was. In that night, of the 6th to 7th of April, at the PDL headquarters from the Modrogan Alley, all the data from the polling stations was being designed. This was data transmitted through STS telephones, the ones with which the PDL members were campaigning for Basescu on the voting day. In that year, the STS had acquired from mobile operators over 15.000 telephones, which they distributed to all the heads of the polling stations in the country. The numbers were not public, being known only by the STS and the person using it.

2014 PRESIDENTIALS. „The undercover candidate” and the “Microsoft-EADS” file

Traian Basescu launched, in his usual style, a campaign theme meant to muddy the waters – one of the candidates was or still is an undercover officer of a secret service. But because he is aware of the law, which prohibits and punishes the disclosure of a secret of service or state secret, the President cannot pronounce the name of said candidate. If he would pronounce it, he would have to present the documents, otherwise he would not be believed. If he were to present the documents, he would disobey the law. The plan was for Robert Turcescu to admit, so that he would later be called by the prosecutors, eventually indicted and obligated to speak in the front of the judges about the “undercover candidate”. Up until now he was not called to any hearings. Nor does anybody intend to call him. Because the plan is set to fail; it was tried to “screen” the candidates with the help of criminal cases – see the Microsoft file or the forest restitution file, cases which are only now seeing the light of day. Furthermore, Traian Basescu openly involved himself in the unwinding of the scandal regarding “the undercover candidate”, unveiling Victor Ponta’s name. Is an official document coming?