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Fresh attempts made to oust Romanian president

Fresh attempts made to oust Romanian president
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Members of Romania’s ruling coalition are challenging official results, which confirm that the country’s president, Traian Basescu, has survived a referendum to impeach him.

With voter turnout falling short of the minimum level required, opponents want the Constitutional Court to use different population data when validating the results, which could change the outcome.

“The Court has a heavy burden on its shoulders and it shouldn’t be that way. In fact, faced with the result of the referendum, Traian Basescu should have resigned,” said Crin Antonescu, Romania’s interim president.

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

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

The bitter political spat has delayed policy-making in Romania and raised doubts over the country’s five billion euro aid deal, led by the International Monetary Fund.