The Romanian President Traian Basescu has been celebrating his victory in the referendum to impeach him, and his return to office. Having been suspended by parliament for allegedly abusing his powers, the official referendum results show the people threw out a move to have him impeached. He said, “The result of this vote is essential, not only for me, but for all politicians: the President of Romania and the parliament.” The result means he can now return to his anti-corruption drive. It looks like a landslide, with 74 per cent saying “no” to the question, “Do you want the President dismissed?” But only 44 per cent of the electorate bothered to vote, a fact which was seized upon by Basescu’s unsuccessful opponents.
The Prime Minister, Calin Popescu Tariceanu, said the turn-out showed the public’s priorities are different from the President’s. The Social-Democrat leader, Mircea Geoana called it a victory without glory, saying the result does not give Basescu a mandate for his personal political ambitions. Political analysts disagree, saying the Romanian people have now given their sanction to the President’s anti-corruption reforms, demanded under the terms of the country’s EU membership.