Government renews bid to impeach Romanian president

By bne IntelliNews August 2, 2012

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Official results were issued on August 1 confirming that Romanian President Traian Basescu survived the July 30 impeachment referendum because the voter turnout did not reach the minimum required. However, the government is not giving up, and is pressing the Constitutional Court to use different population data when it meets to validate the result on August 2.

The Romanian Central Election Bureau (BEC) announced on August 1 that the final results in the referendum showed the turnout was 46.24%, less than the required minimum of 50% plus one vote. However, the Constitutional Court is yet to make a final decision on the validity of the referendum.

The president has admitted that the referendum result, which saw over 80% of votes cast approving his impeachment, has created a huge rift in the society. However, his political foes, including Prime Minister Victor Ponta and his Social Democratic party-led governing coalition, are now arguing that the electoral lists were outdated and the number of legitimate voters should be smaller.

"An increasing number of the members of the socialist-liberal alliance state the participation rate was actually about 52% as the true number of voters is lower than previous considered and that the Constitutional Court should rule according to these recent findings," analysts at ING write. "Such fluid developments should continue weighing on the RON and may make us reconsider our near term positive call for the local currency."

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