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Romania referendum: Basescu row far from over

Romania referendum: Basescu row far from over
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Romania’s president may have survived a referendum on his impeachment, but there is a prediction of further political turbulence ahead.

Traian Basescu pulled through Sunday’s vote, after turnout fell short of the level required – derailing an effort by opponents to oust him from office.

Conservative Basescu was suspended from office by the leftist government of Prime Minister Victor Ponta, accused of overstepping his powers.

“A normal reaction, in a normal country, would be to resign. We can remember, for example, de Gaulle’s gesture during the referendum in France. I don’t think Traian Basescu will do the same,” said analyst Stelian Tanase.

“Romania is another country, with different democratic traditions.”

The row over Basescu has already paralysed policy-making and stoked concerns about the future of Romania’s five billion euro IMF-led aid deal.

Ponta’s efforts to unseat the president have brought a stern dressing-down from the European Union, which accused him of undermining the rule of law and intimidating judges.

In the wake of the referendum, Ponta has said that he is not seeking further confrontation with Basescu.

However, there is a feeling amongst some analysts that the political feuding is far from over.