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Romanian president survives impeachment vote

Romanian president survives impeachment vote
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Romanian President Traian Basescu has vowed to unify his country after surviving his second impeachment referendum in five years.

Figures from the country’s election bureau suggest a turnout of around 46 percent for Sunday’s vote.

The preliminary result is more than four points below the threshold needed to remove the 60-year-old from office.

A final announcement is due later on Monday.

Basescu, who survived a previous impeachment referendum in 2007, promised to “create a sentiment of reconciliation” following Sunday’s poll.

Once one of Romania’s most popular politicians, he acknowledged that he had lost support. He was suspended from office by the leftist government of Prime Minister Victor Ponta and accused of exceeding his authority.

The EU and Washington criticised the impeachment attempt after the government tried to remove a requirement that voter turnout should reach 50 percent to validate the referendum.