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President Basescu's options on suspension issue

de     HotNews.ro
Joi, 12 aprilie 2007, 0:00


The Romanian Constitution says that if the President chooses to resign, presidential elections must be organized within three months. But things are never so simple when it comes to Romanian politics: the head of state considers resignation only in case the Parliament opts to have him suspended, while President Traian Basescu’s rivals in the Parliament may reconsider the whole procedure.

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Sources from the opposition Social Democrats (PSD) have said Senate speaker Nicolae Vacaroiu, a PSD member urged his party colleagues to wait for a while with suspension moves as it was not impossible to dismiss President Basescu through a referendum, as the Constitution requires.

According to Romanian law, Basescu cannot be suspended unless half plus one of Romania’s listed voters vote in favor of his suspension.

But on Thursday the PSD leadership urged party leader Mircea Geoana and leader Viorel Hrebenciuc to negotiate with other parties - the governing Liberals and the far-right Greater Romania Party - the terms by which they would say yes to launching the suspension procedure in a parliamentary vote.

In these circumstances, Basescu has to options at hand.

A first would be his suspension by the Parliament. The Constitution says the President can be suspended with the vote of a majority of MPs after the Constitutional Court is consulted on the issue. If the suspension proposal is approved, a referendum has to be organized for the dismissal of the head of state within 30 days.

If the president is reconfirmed by citizens who reject his suspension, Basescu is named back in office and can return to his duties immediately.

A second option would be his unilateral resignation. In these circumstances, the government must organize early presidential elections within three months. If Basescu opts to resign before his suspension by the Parliament, he can issue a decree for the organization of a referendum to introduce new rules such as elections by uninominal votes.

In these terms, the Parliament must present its own point of view on such a referendum. The President demanded such a view about two months ago, but the Parliament failed to answer so far.

In case of resignation, Basescu can run again for president in the ensuing elections.According to opinion polls lately, he can be sure of a new 5-year term - at the expense of the remaining two years of his current one.
























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