Romanian deputies approved on Tuesday an opposition-supported amendment to the referendum law that is seen as an interim phase for a possible future procedure to suspend President Traian Basescu. The amendment, tabled by the opposition Social Democrats-PSD, was passed with 154 votes in favor, 54 against and 18 abstentions.

Deputies for the opposition Social Democrats and the Greater Romania Party-PRM were joined by representatives of the governing National Liberal Party-PNL and the smaller Conservative Party-PC. The Democratic Party-PD, which supports the President but shares power with the PNL, voted against the changes, while a third member of the governing coalition, the Hungarian Democrats-UDMR, abstained.

The amendment allows the dismissal of the President by referendum if half plus one of the votes support the measure and if the head of state had been selected in two rounds of elections.

Another change to the law bans the organization of elections simultaneously with or within six months before or after such a referendum.

That means that if the changes will be applied during the current term of President Basescu and if a possible proposal for his suspension will be approved by two thirds of Romanian MPs, than elections for the European Parliament, initially set for May this year, may be postponed.

The PSD announced on Tuesday night that most probably they would launch the suspension procedure next week.