Romania’s suspended President Traian Basescu met some 25,000 supporters in the Black Sea city port of Constanta on Sunday, telling them that the 322 MPs who voted for his suspension in April should resign after a referendum takes place on May 19. The referendum was called by Basescu’s parliamentary opponents to have him removed from office for breaching the Romanian Constitution.

  • Photo gallery of Pro-Basescu meeting inConstanta (May 6, 2007)

  • The Constanta protest was joined by political supporters from no less than eight counties in south and eastern Romania.

    Basescu was accompanied by many prominent Democratic Party (PD) officials including ministers who were removed from the government previously formed of Democrats and Liberals (PNL) this spring. Ex-Justice minister Monica Macovei was among the officials who attended the event.

    Basescu said in his speech that he was suspended for having refused to “negotiate with the oligarchy of transition, which would have compromised Romania for many years”.

    And he was quoted in Romanian media on Monday as having mentioned his opposition to Romania’s dependence on Russian energy and his pro-Western orientation.

    The meeting was the first official meeting to be held in Romania in Basescu’s campaign for a “no” vote in the May 19 referendum, where Romanians are invited to have their say whether to remove him from office or not. He launched his campaign with two demonstrations in Spain on Saturday.

    Basescu was suspended with 322 votes from a total of 410 in the Parliament in April on charges that the breached the Constitution, despite the Constitutional Court saying that the charges were unfounded.