Mircea Geoana, the president of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) and speaker of the Romanian Senate, said on Sunday he would withdraw from the Supreme Defense Council (CSAT) as he accused President Traian Basescu of using the positive image of the Romanian Army in electoral purposes, Romanian news agency Mediafax reports. Geoana made the statement as Romanians vote in European elections on Sunday.

Geoana said he decided to withdraw as CSAT member and vice-president starting Sunday because he found unacceptable the way President Basescu was "using the Romanian Army in the political purposes of promoting the PD-L in European Parliament elections". PD-L (Democratic Liberal Party), the key political group supporting President Basescu, is part of a governing coalition with Mircea Geoana's PSD.

Geoana said he refused to provide legitimacy by further attending CSAT sessions the internal and international actions by which Basescu was "using" the Romanian state, army and diplomacy for political benefits.

But he said the "Partnership for Romania", the purpose of which was to provide Romania with a stable government during the economic downturn, was still in force.

President Basescu paid visits to Romanian troops in Iraw and Afghanistan over the past several days.

Judiciary sources told HotNews.ro that the Constitutional Court was due to declare a law by which Senate speaker Mircea Geoana became vice-president as CSAT as unconstitutional. The court has already discussed the issue and a sentence was due to be made on June 3, but was postponed for June 17, the sources said. The opposition Liberals (PNL) challenged at the Constitutional Court in early may an ordinance by which the Senate speaker became vice-president of the CSAT.