Romanian president faces impeachment

Romania's suspended president, who faces an impeachment referendum this week, vowed to carry out reforms to stop political corruption.

Romanian president faces impeachment
Romania's suspended president, who faces an impeachment referendum this week, vowed Wednesday to carry out reforms to stop political corruption.

Parliament, which is dominated by parties opposing President Traian Basescu, suspended him last month on allegations that he violated the constitution by usurping the role of the prime minister and criticizing the courts. The Constitutional Court had ruled that Basescu did not break the law, but its ruling was nonbinding and allowed parliament to make its own decision.

"Romanians will choose in the referendum between my option, to build a modern state, and the lawmakers' option, to leave things as they are," he said in an interview with The Associated Press at his campaign's headquarters in downtown Bucharest.

He claimed lawmakers abused their power by suspending him. Five political parties ideologically opposed to each other united to suspend him because they wanted to stop anti-corruption measures and political reform, he said.

"It was a political decision. I'd say it was a sort of coup," Basescu said. "The president can't be held responsible by parliament, he can only be responsible in front of the Romanian people."

Polls show more than 70 percent of Romanians intend to back Basescu, a former commercial ship captain and Bucharest mayor who is known for his outspoken style. The referendum is set for Saturday.

Last Mod: 17 Mayıs 2007, 12:01
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