Romanian President Basescu survives impeachment referendum prelim results.

By bne IntelliNews July 30, 2012
Romanias President Traian Basescu might have survived an impeachment referendum on July 29 since its turnout was 45.92% with an error margin of 3% [44.5%-47.3%], according to preliminary data of the electoral bureau. This result would mean the ballot will be invalidated due because the voter turnout was below the legal minimum of 50%. President Basescu assured that once he returns to his seat, he would support a broad national reconciliation. The data is an estimate based on a limited number of voting stations. The leftist ruling coalition USL claims, however, that the turnout was above 50%, according to its parallel monitoring of the voting, meaning that Basescu has to step down. But the opposition party PDL, which also ran a parallel counting of the turnout, supports the electoral bureaus results. Traditionally, PDLs parallel counting has been accurate. While diverging on the precise turnout figure, both sides agreed that the vast majority voted for Basescus impeachment around 85%. This was, however, expected, after Basescu and PDL advised their supporters not to participate in the referendum. Notably, a critical contribution was made by the ethnic Hungarians who supported Basescu by not voting in the referendum as shown by the turnout in the regions where Hungarian minorities are concentrated. IntelliNews Comment : Under the referendum bill recently endorsed by parliament and promulgated, the ballot is invalidated for turnout of below 50% -- but the law also specifies that in such cases the parliament should decide accordingly - a formulation that generated speculations recently over the possibility of having the referendum repeated. But the leftist coalition USL will probably not risk even more criticism from the EU by bending once again the laws.

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