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ROMANIA 29 Jul 2012 Impeachment referendum follows parliamentary vote
Romanian lawmakers voted overwhelmingly on Jul 6 to impeach President Traian Basescu, and the national impeachment referendum on J

July 29, 2012 - NULL

ROMANIA 29 Jul 2012 Impeachment referendum follows parliamentary vote
Romanian lawmakers voted overwhelmingly on Jul 6 to impeach President Traian Basescu, and the national impeachment referendum on Jul 29 is the next step. The move is widely criticized as another move by Prime Minister Ponta of the leftist Social Liberal Union to increase his hold of power. Basescu's impeachment has been voted on before, in 2007, but survived the vote with a 74 per cent vote in his favor. He is in a more precarious position this time: austerity measures have eaten into his popularity and the Ponta government has

ROMANIA 29 Jul 2012 Impeachment referendum follows parliamentary vote
Romanian lawmakers voted overwhelmingly on Jul 6 to impeach President Traian Basescu, and the national impeachment referendum on Jul 29 is the next step. The move is widely criticized as another move by Prime Minister Ponta of the leftist Social Liberal Union to increase his hold of power. Basescu's impeachment has been voted on before, in 2007, but survived the vote with a 74 per cent vote in his favor. He is in a more precarious position this time: austerity measures have eaten into his popularity and the Ponta government has changed the referendum rules to make it easier to oust him.

The political crisis is exacerbating the financial crisis in Romania, the European Union's second-poorest member.

Basescu, who is locked in a power struggle with Ponta, can be replaced this time round by a simple majority vote. Should the vote go against him, presidential elections will be held during the following three months.

The Social Liberal Union came to power in late April after a no-confidence motion toppled the 78-day-long center-right government led by former intelligence chief Mihai Razvan Ungureanu. The ruling alliance also won most of the seats in local elections on Jun 10.

Basescu has been in power for eight years. In Bulgaria, the presidency is much more than ceremonial. He is in charge of foreign policy, the powerful intelligence services and the country's defense policies.

Ponta became prime minister on May 7. He is the third Romanian premier in four months. (WRITTEN JUL 2012)

RELATED READING:
EU demands Romania govt respect courts (Reuters 6 Jul 2012)
http://in.reuters.com/article/2012/07/06/eu-romania-idINL6E8I64WM20120706

Vote to Impeach President Adds to Turmoil in Romania (New York Times 7 Jul 2012)
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/07/world/europe/romania-parliament-votes-to-impeach-traian-basescu.html

Romania's parliament decides to impeach head of state (Xinhua 7 Jul 2012)
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-07/07/c_123382580.htm

Date written/update: 2012-07-29