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Romania Parliament about to vote on impeachment of President Basescu as Constitutional Court gives unclear ruling on constitutionality of charges Romania braces for a vote in the Parliament late on Friday afternoon on the impeachment of President Traian Basescu. Prior to the parliamentary session, the Constitutional Court gave its advisory ruling on the request to suspend the President, but the ruling was not clear and both supporters and opponents of the head of state gave their own interpretation of it. The Friday afternoon events were preceded by an announcement of the Constitutional Court that one if its judges received "threats", by PM Victor Ponta's statement attempting to assure European countries that they should not worry about events in Romania, but also by an European Commission statement showing concern about these events.UPDATE The parliament session to suspend President Basescu started at 5 p.m.
International reactions on Romanian power struggles and worries about rule of law The European Commission might postpone its report on Romanian justice, which was due early next week the latest, because an analysis is needed on the impact of measures taken by Romania's Victor Ponta Government and the Parliament over Justice institutions, several European sources told HotNews.ro. The possibility comes as several European officials have taken stand on the turmoil in Romanian politics, where a government alliance-led attempt to oust President Traian Basescu raised question marks about the independence of Justice and other institutions.
Romania President Basescu says parliamentary call for his suspension involves governing alliance attempt to take over control of Justice, state institutions. He asks for referendum on single-chamber Parliament ​Romania President Traian Basescu held a speech in Parliament today following the reading of a governing alliance USL's request for his suspension. He said he would welcome a parliamentary procedure to suspend him, but questioned the constitutional validity of the current one and said it had four reasons: the USL will to take control over Justice, the USL will to take control of all state institutions, a will to not apply the results of a previous referendum when people opted for a single-Chamber, 300-member parliament and a "circumstantial" will to cover prime minister Victor Ponta's "European" reputation as a "copy-paste prime minister".
Romanian MPs give reading to request to suspend President Basescu. Vote to suspend him expected on Friday Romanian MPs convened in an extraordinary session on Thursday morning for the reading of a request to suspend President Traian Basescu. Basescu was present in the Parliament when the reading started. As the final debate and a vote on the request are scheduled for Friday, the President has the right to present his own point of view before the MPs.​Romanian MPs convened in an extraordinary session on Thursday morning for the reading of a request to suspend President Traian Basescu. Basescu was present in the Parliament when the reading started. As the final debate and a vote on the request are scheduled for Friday, the President has the right to present his own point of view before the MPs.
Romania's governing alliance launches procedure to suspend President Traian Basescu Romania's Parliament convened on Wednesday for a session to launch the procedures to suspend President Traian Basescu, as sources told HotNews.ro. Political sources also told hotNews.ro that the Government has adopted an emergency ordinance changing a law on the functioning of the Constitutional Court. In the afternoon, the ordinance was already published in the Official Gazette. And a spokesman for one of the parties in the governing alliance told a TV station that the suspension of the President might be voted in the Parliament on Friday.
OPINION ​A cry of helplessness In a short statement on Tuesday evening, at the end of a series hallucinatory events in the Parliament, Romanian President Traian Basescu addressed parliamentary party leaders Victor Ponta, Crin Antonescu, Daniel Constantin, Gabriel Oprea and Kelemen Hunor demanding them, repeatedly, “to immediately cease their actions against the institutions of the Romanian state.  Naming them, a rather unusual twist in his latest statements, looks more like a warning.
UPDATE Romania President Basescu demands PM Victor Ponta, governing alliance leaders to stop "actions against institutions" of Romanian state, which he says are in breach of European values Romania President holds a statement on Friday evening. He started his speech by demanding PM Victor Ponta, governing alliance leaders to stop "actions against institutions" of the Romanian state, which he says are in breach of European values. UPDATE He concluded his speech in just a few minutes. Read his statements in full
Viviane Reding is first top EU official to comment on Romanian Government's moves on Constitutional Court: I am seriously concerned about recent attacks on independence of Court "I am seriously concerned about recent attacks on the independence of the Constitutional Court of Romania," said European Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding on Twitter on Tuesday. Her comments came as Romania's government has been pushing for changes at Constitutional Court level so that it allow new legislation that may help the governing alliance in its political struggles with President Traian Basescu.
UPDATE Romania's governing coalition launches massive moves on state institutions. Opposition decries "coup d'etat" and accuses accuses attacks on of Constitution and state of law. Senate Speaker dismissed, replaced with governing alliance leader. House speaker replaced as well Romania's governing alliance of Liberals and Social Democrats (USL) launched a massive series of moves on state institutions and key people in the Parliament, the Constitutional Court and the People's Lawyer (Ombudsman) on Tuesday. The moves fall in line with the phases of an action plan by USL - first presented by HotNews.ro in its Romanian version - to suspend President Traian Basescu, who the USL leaders see as the main obstacle in their taking over effective power in the country. Opposition leaders decried on Tuesday what they called a "coup d'etat" and a major attack on the Constitution and the state of law.UPDATE Romanian USL-dominated Senators voted on Tuesday to dismiss Senate Speaker Vasile Blaga. USL immediately pushed its leader Crin Antonescu as new Speaker.UPDATE 2 - 10.30 P.M. House Speaker Roberta Anastase - a member of Vasile Blaga-led Democratic Liberals (PDL), who support President Basescu - was also voted out of office by USL-dominated deputies on Tuesday evening. PSD immediately nominated deputy Valeriu Zgonea to be voted new House speaker.
US Ambassador to Romania says he is "concerned about any attempt to threaten" independence of Romania's democratic institutions "Manipulation or threats to your institutions particularly your courts will not only be of concern to our government but to the way Romania is viewed by financial markets", says US Ambassador to Romania Mark H. Gitenstein in a statement received by HotNews.ro. His statement comes as Romania's governing alliance of Social Democrats and Liberals (USL) have launched a series of moves on key people and institutions, including the Constitutional Court, which were described by USL political opponents, some media and commentators as "a coup d'etat" or attacks on the Constitution and the state of law.
OPINION The crooks’ revolution begins. The assault day All the information suggests that USL will force the President's suspension as soon as possible.  It is a matter of hours or of days at most.  From what I have learnt, Crin Antonescu dreams about moving in to Cotroceni Presidential Palace as soon as possible, possibly today.  Ponta and Antonescu are removing the Ombudsman [People's Lawyer], the judges from the Constitutional Court, the Presidents of the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies.  Vasile Blaga's replacement is a crucial move, because he is the second man in the state, and should the President of the country be suspended, the President of the Senate would become the interim at Cotroceni Presidential Palace. Very probably, Crin Antonescu will take Blaga's place.
UPDATE Scandal engulfs Victor Ponta's government as council studying plagiarism charges against Romanian PM is dismantled before verdict​. Council's verdict: Ponta involved in "copy-paste plagiarism case" A huge scandal involving accusations of plagiarism against Romanian prime minister Victor Ponta escalated on Friday. Sources told HotNews.ro a council checking the accusations that Ponta copied parts of his doctoral thesis from other works have found proof of plagiarism. But the council had just been dismissed in a complicated scheme of decisions that raised questions about compliance with the state of law under Ponta's 2-month old government. Ponta had said in an interview on Thursday that he would resign should accusations of plagiarism be proven.UPDATE The CNATDCU council of scholars has decided: Ponta was involved in "copy-paste plagiarism case"
Prime minister represents Romania at European Council for the first time. President Basescu says he didn't go to Brussels today to avoid an "awkward position" for Romania: "Romania is legitimately present, but illegitimately represented at European Council"​ Weeks of clashes between Romania's new prime minister Victor Ponta and President Traian Basescu over who should represent the country at the European Council came to a last minute conclusion on Thursday. Despite a Constitutional Court decision that going to the European Council was the President's job, Ponta went to Brussels anyway today and was admitted as Romania's representative. After a tense first half of day, President Basescu made press statements saying that he didn't go to Brussels in order to avoid "an awkward position" for Romania". And he said Romania was "legitimately present, but illegitimately represented at the European Council" this week.
Romanian ex-PM Adrian Nastase's surgery successful after suicide attempt A surgical intervention Romanian ex-PM Adrian Nastase underwent on Thursday morning after he attempted suicide on Wednesday evening concluded successfully, medics announced today. They said the patient was "lucky" to survive as the bullet he shot in the attempt to kill himself came close to vital organs. Also on Thursday, Nastase's legal representative said a request would be submitted shortly so that a prison sentence the former prime minister received yesterday be suspended on medical grounds.
UPDATE Former Romanian PM Adrian Nastase rushed to hospital amid claims he attempted suicide following 2-year sentence in corruption case. Attempted suicide report confirmed by High Court Prosecutor's Office Former Romanian PM Adrian Nastase was rushed to a Bucharest hospital from his home late on Wednesday, amid claims on TV news channels that he attempted to kill himself. The incident comes hours after Romania's High Court gave Nastase a final 2-year prison sentence in a corruption case. Nastase is the highest official in the country to receive such a sentence under corruption charges.UPDATE 0.30 The High Court prosecutor's office announced it received a report regarding Nastase's suicide attempt and has opened an investigation into the situation. Reports say Nastase shot himself in the neck in the attempt to kill himself. Current PM Victor Ponta visited the emergency hospital later in the night before Nastase was to undergo an emergency surgical intervention,UPDATE 8.00 a.m. Emergency hospital doctors told TV stations later in the night that Nastase's condition was stable and he would undergo surgery most probably in the morning.
Former Romanian PM Adrian Nastase receives 2 year prison sentence in major corruption case Romania's High Court maintained on Wednesday a 2 year prison sentence applied by the same court for former prime minister Adrian Nastase earlier this year. The final verdict in the so-called "Quality Trophy" case is unprecedented in Romania, as Nastase is the highest ranking former official in the country to be sentenced for corruption in the country. The case relates to Nastase's 2004 election campaign, when according to the charges he covered fund raising for the campaign by organizing a fee-based symposium. The verdict was announced three years and four months since the case was sent to court.updating
612 Romanian researchers protest "serious isolation of Romanian community about international scientific information" A group of 612 top Romanian researchers have published a letter of protest about a recent decision by Romanian authorities to suspend the access of Romanian universities and researchers to important electronic collections of scientific journals and data bases, according to a Contributors.ro report. The move, they say, leads to the isolation of the Romanian research community to internationals scientific information.
Romanian PM Victor Ponta dismisses accusations of plagiarism, says President Basescu is behind them Romanian prime minister Victor Ponta dismissed accusations of plagiarism in the case of his his PhD thesis in statements he made on Monday evening and Tuesday morning. He said he was ready to stand before any commission to show the allegations were baseless and that he believed President Traian Basescu was behind the appearance of the accusations in Nature magazine.
Nature magazine: Romanian PM Victor Ponta accused of plagiarism. FAZ compares Ponta to Hungarian ex-president Pall Schmitt and former German Defense minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttemberg ​Nature magazine reports that Romanian prime minister Victor Ponta is accused of plagiarism for his PhD thesis in law, which was published in 2003. "Nature has seen documents compiled by an anonymous whistle-blower indicating that more than half of Ponta’s 432-page, Romanian-language thesis on the functioning of the International Criminal Court consists of duplicated text", Nature writes. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung also published an article on the alleged act of plagiarism by the head of the Romanian Government.
Populist party candidate wins town hall in Romania town due to host US missile shield components A candidate for Romanian populist party Dan Diaconescu Popular Party (PPDD) was elected mayor in Deveselu, a town which is due to host elements of the US missile shield. Ion Aliman, a ship captain, won 54% of the votes, defeating the incumbent mayor, a Social Democrat.

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