A majority of Romanian MPs voted on Friday evening in favor of the impeachment of President Traian Basescu, at the end of a blitz series of procedures which the opponents of the governing alliance, many independent observers and EU voices described as breaching the rule of law and questioning the independence of Romanian justice and balance of power. Basescu now has to face a referendum in which - according to rules newly voted by the Parliament - a majority of active voters decides his dismissal of President.
- UPDATE A referendum where Romanian voters will be asked if they agree with the dismissal of President Traian Basescu will be organized on July 29, according to a proposed bill on the organization of the referendum, announced in the Parliament today.
MPs declared shortly after the voting ended that 256 parliamentarians voted in favor of the impeachment, while 114 voted against it. 217 votes in favor were needed for the impeachment to pass.
Once the president is suspended, Senate Speaker Crin Antonescu - a leader of the governing alliance of Social Democrats and Liberals (USL) named into offic - takes over as interim president until a referendum takes place in which the people are called to decide the fate of the impeached president.
The referendum must be organized within 30 days.
- See what Basescu said in Parliament today and yesterday
- See reactions (also here) to the procedues by which the governing alliance of Social Democrats and Liberals (USL) managed to impeach the president in as quickly as several days
Prior to the vote, Basescu gave signs he would not give up fight. After Crin Antonescu said during debates that he would resign if Basescu is not dismissed in a referendum, Basescu replied by giving Antonescu a piece of paper to write down this promise.