Romania is planning a crucial referendum to decide its President Traian Bascescu’s future after parliament approved impeachment proceedings.
The decision will be put to voters on July 29.
Basescu, who was elected in 2004, has already survived one previous impeachment attempt and still has two years of his second term to run.
But the 60-year-old’s popularity is on the wane. He is accused by opponents including Prime Minister Victor Ponta of overstepping his authority.
In the capital Bucharest, some ordinary Romanians are tired of the in-fighting. “I think maybe it’s better if we have a new president but at the end of the day they fight only for themselves not for us,” said Ioana, a market trader.
Pensioner Paul Bonifaciu thinks Romania deserves a change. “We pensioners need a better life. We have paid enough over 45 years of work. We paid for the old leaders and we’re paying for the new ones too,” he said
EU and US diplomats are worried that the power struggle between Ponta and Basescu is leading to decisions that bypass Romania’s judiciary.