With Romanians due to vote on Sunday on whether to impeach their president, the man in question has urged them to boycott the ballot.
Traian Basescu, who has been suspended from office, brands MPs behind the move a pack of hyenas, attempting a coup d’etat.
Accused of violating the constitution by interfering in government affairs, he spoke exclusively to Laura Davidescu, our correspondent in Bucharest.
Basescu told her that he trusts voters’ democratic discernment.
“It is impossible that Romanians can’t understand the effects of a confirmed coup d’etat,” he said. “I believe Romanians want Romania in Europe.”
Asked whether Romania is a European-style democracy, Basescu replied:
“Romanian democracy has to be confirmed as European – on the 29th, this Sunday. My hope is, beyond what Romanians like or don’t like during this crisis period, beyond their sorrows, due to austerity measures….I hope on the 29th we will discuss neither sorrows nor joys, but our fundamental aim: that is us, being a country that belongs in the EU and does not belong to a group of politicians and businessmen having difficulties with the law, who all want to put the country, especially its legal system, under control. That’s my hope, that Romanians will put aside the austerity sorrows to defend a European Romania.”
Polls indicate a vote in favour of impeaching Basescu, who is deeply unpopular amid austerity measures and accusations of cronyism. But turnout of at least half the electorate is required which is far from sure.