The joint chambers of the Romanian Parliament gathered in a plenary session on Wednesday to debate a proposal tabled by the opposition Social Democrats (PSD) to suspend President Traian Basescu for alleged breaches of the Constitution. The head of state, meanwhile, opted to attend a meeting of the Government as he did not consider his presence in the Parliament as “necessary”.

With 258 votes in favor, 76 against and 21 abstentions, MPs decided to establish a commission to investigate data included in the suspension proposal. The commission will have 15 members representing six parties and independent MPs.

The Democratic Party announced they would not nominate any representative in the commission, whose report is expected before March 21, 2007.

The proposal to suspend Basescu, signed by 182 MPs of the opposition Social Democrats and the Greater Romania Party (PRM), was submitted in Parliament on February 13.

It lists 27 issues where its supporters claim the President breached the Constitution over the past two years, including efforts to block the activity of the Parliament, an intervention in favor of a company’s business interests and use of intelligence services to “monitor the political class”.

Parliamentary parties started the debates today with talks about who among the MPs should be part of a parliamentary commission to investigate the head of state.

In a message to the Parliament, President Basescu said the Constitutional Court would be the one to decide whether the facts presented as arguments against him were non-constitutional or not.