Romanian MPs belonging to the National Liberal Party (PNL), the Social Democratic Party (PSD) and the Hungarian Democrats (UDMR) managed on Wednesday to slow down procedures that would allow a referendum called by President Traian Basescu on changing the Constitution to take place. PNL and PSD also submitted a request to temporarily suspend House speaker Roberta Anastase, a member of the party supporting Basescu.
President Basescu announced last month he would push for a referendum to change the Constitution and form a single-chamber parliament in place of the current two-chamber one. The push was followed by political wrangling that saw the PSD break away from a government alliance with Basescu's main supporting party, the Democratic Liberals (PDL).
The Parliament leadership decided on Wednesday to send Basescu's request for a referendum to the joint judicial commissions for a point of view in this regard and set a deadline of 10 days for the commissions to come up with a result. The decision, supported by PSD, PNL and UDMR, slows down the procedure due to lead to an approval of the requested referendum.
Also today, PNL and PSD submitted a request to suspend Roberta Anastase, a PDL member, as House speaker, accusing her of "abusive behaviour" following a suspension of a session on Tuesday.
Democratic-Liberal PM Emil Boc said later on Wednesday that "today we have witnessed in the Parliament to the formation of a PSD-PNL coalition" aimed at preventing a pensions law from being introduced. The law, pushed by the government, would see parliamentarians' pensions reduced.