The naming of a new head of an institution in charge with bringing the archives of the former secret police of the Ceausescu regime in Romania led to renewed disputes as an anti-Communist politician lost the seat in a spectacular vote on on Tuesday.

CNSAS is the main Romanian body trying to bring light on the deeds of the former Securitate secret police, but its activity has been blocked by political interventionism and resistance from existing intelligence services – heirs of the former Securitate – for years.

The members of the National College for the Study of the Securitate Archives (CNSAS), studying the files of the former intelligence service Securitate, voted judge Corneliu Turianu to head the institution.

The vote defied expectation that Constantin Ticu Dumitrescu, a reputed politician supported by the governing alliance, who has spent time in jail for his opposition to the Communist regime, would take the top CNSAS job.

The vote prompted Ticu Dumitrescu, who was supported by the D.A. alliance of Liberals and Democrats, to announce he would not agree to be part of the CNSAS in these circumstances and that he was warned that he would not get the top job.

Turianu was nominated in the College by the Democratic Party, a member of the current D.A. alliance and of the governing coalition. But his election is seen by Dumitrescu as a "scheme we have witnessed but of which I had been naive enough to believe it could change the situation".

The decision prompted criticism from the Liberal party towards their Democratic partners and President Traian Basescu, whom they blamed for changing nominations for the top CNSAS job "under Basescu’s pressure".

The Democratic Party and the opposition Social-Democratic Party replied that they would not see any political connotation in the vote today.