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Romania: Lawmakers vote to impeach president

Romanian lawmakers impeach president; EU 'concerned' about rule of law By The Associated Press

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) Romanian lawmakers have voted overwhelmingly to impeach President Traian Basescu on grounds that he overstepped his authority by meddling in government business and legal affairs.

The vote of 256-114 in parliament came as the European Union expressed concern about rule of law in the country.

Senate Speaker Crin Antonescu says a referendum will now be organized to allow voters to decide whether Basescu, should be ousted from the presidency, which he has held since 2004.

Basescu addressed lawmakers and denied accusations of authoritarianism. The impeachment vote comes as he and Prime Minister Victor Ponta are engaged in a bitter power struggle.

Basescu was impeached in 2007 but survived a referendum on the issue; his popularity has declined steeply in the past two years.

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Related Keywords:Romania-Politics,Political corruption,Referendums,Government and politics,Impeachments,Political issues,Elections


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