Romania President survives impeachment bid
The referendum to impeach Romania’s President, Traian Basescu, has appeared to be invalid, as the turnout is below the required minimum of 50 percent.
According to the first partial results announced on Monday by the Central Electoral Bureau, the turnout was 46.13 percent.
The electoral bureau president, Gabriela Bogasiu, gave the figure after tabulation of entries from 97.52 percent of polling stations.
According to Bogasiu, 87.55 percent, said "yes" for dismissal of the president while 11.12 percent, voted against.
"A president elected by 5 million votes whom some 8 million Romanians no longer want in office should reflect more seriously about this vote and decide how legitimate he is to represent Romania," said Prime Minister, Victor Ponta.
"The president is politically dismissed," said the prime minister.
"Out of 18 million registered enfranchised Romanians, nearly 3 million live abroad; there are one million and a half Romanian citizens of Hungarian ethnicity that preferred to sit the referendum out, so an overwhelming majority of enfranchised Romanians who are in Romania voted in a certain way in the referendum," Ponta said.
Stay at home
This is the second time that Basescu goes through an impeachment referendum, after he survived the popular consultation organised in 2007.
Basescu did not go to the polling station late on Sunday and he said, ’’All those who could have endorsed me stay at home."
According to him, he chose to change his campaign strategy, not to vote and to also urge Romanians not to go to vote in the referendum, in order not to validate the reported fraud.
According to the referendum law, the president is dismissed with 50 percent plus one vote of those voting and the referendum is considered valid if the turnout is 50 percent plus one citizen from the permanent electoral lists.
Invalid by insufficient voter
In the three-week campaign for the referendum, Basescu's main supporter the Democrat Liberal Party professed its solidarity with the suspended president, supporting him by boycotting the referendum in a bid to make the process invalid by an insufficient voter turnout.
On the other hand, high-profile members of the ruling Social Liberal Union called on the citizens to go to the polls.
The parliament approved the impeachment request against the president, submitted by the ruling Social Liberal Union on July 6, a ruling alliance that came to power three months ago and is made up of the Social Democratic Party, the National Liberal Party and the Conservative Party.