Romania court delays impeachment decision

Print version
Aug. 2, 2012, 6:01 p.m. | World — by Reuters

In this Friday, July 6, 2012 file photo, Romanian President Traian Basescu prepares to address the country's parliament prior to a vote to impeach him in Bucharest, Romania.
© AP

BUCHAREST - Romania's Constitutional Court delayed a decision on the validity of a referendum on impeaching the president until September, the court said on Thursday, an unexpected twist that would deepen Romania's political crisis.

The European Union has criticised leftist Prime Minister Victor Ponta's tactics in trying to ensure the centre-right President Traian Basescu was removed from office and demanded the government respect Constitutional Court decisions.

The row between Ponta and Basescu has delayed policymaking in the EU's second-poorest member state and raised doubts over Romania's International Monetary Fund-led aid deal, sending the leu currency to record lows.

Official data showed voter turnout at Sunday's referendum did not reach a required 50 percent level and the decision on Basescu's impeachment was delayed until Sept. 12.

Final results of Sunday's vote showed 88 percent of those who voted wanted Basescu, unpopular for his links with austerity and perceptions of cronyism, removed from office.

"If you're asking me, the referendum should have been annulled," Constitutional Court judge Aspazia Cojocaru told reporters outside the court. "Everything was based on fake data."

Members of Ponta's Social Liberal Union (USL) have suggested the true number of voters was smaller, based on new preliminary census data, and hence turnout would beat the threshold.

The leu extended losses after news of the delay and traded 0.4 percent lower against the euro on the day.

The Kyiv Post is disabling its online comment section due to an increase in trolls, violent comments and other personal attacks. Other news organizations worldwide have taken similar steps for the same reasons. The Kyiv Post regrets having to take this action. The newspaper believes in a robust public debate, but the discussion must be constructive and intelligent. For the time being, the Kyiv Post will allow comments on its moderated Facebook group The newspaper will consider hosting online comments again when circumstances allow. Thank you from the Kyiv Post.


© 1995–2015 Public Media

Web links to Kyiv Post material are allowed provided that they contain a URL hyperlink to the material and a maximum 500-character extract of the story. Otherwise, all materials contained on this site are protected by copyright law and may not be reproduced without the prior written permission of Public Media at
All information of the Interfax-Ukraine news agency placed on this web site is designed for internal use only. Its reproduction or distribution in any form is prohibited without a written permission of Interfax-Ukraine.