Romania’s suspended President Traian Basescu is set to return to office within days after judges ruled an impeachment vote against him was invalid.
The decision by the Constitutional Court still needs rubber-stamping by parliament on Friday.
The court ruled against the referendum because turnout fell below the required 50 percent.
Romania’s acting president, Crin Antonescu, one of Basescu’s centre-left rivals, has pledged to abide by the court’s decree.
But he branded Basescu an “illegitimate” leader and said: “We find this Constitutional Court decision unfair as it ignores 8.5 million Romanian votes, unfair because it ignores a real majority, in accordance with all laws.”
Around 1,000 protesters gathered in Bucharest on Tuesday night to express their anger that efforts to oust the president have failed. More than 87 per cent of those who took part in last month’s referendum voted for his impeachment. Basescu had called for a boycott
His leftist opponents accuse him of blocking government policies, turning a blind eye to corruption and starting a witch-hunt against rivals.