Romania's Parliament took note on Monday of a Constitutional Court decision to invalidate the July 29 referendum to dismiss President Traian Basescu. The publication of the Court decision in the Official Gazette is the last necessary step prior to Basescu's return to presidency and it may happen as early as Monday evening. The Parliament session today was not without trouble, as it started two hours late because of a boycott by the governing coalition of Liberals and Social Democrats, who oppose Basescu.

The Constitutional Court decided last Tuesday that the July 29 referendum to dismiss President Traian Basescu was not valid because the necessary threshold was not met.

The decision prompted an outcry among politicians of the Social Democratic-Liberal governing alliance (USL), who said they would comply with it, but would consider it unfair. USL MPs had voted earlier this summer to suspend President Basescu and call for a referendum to dismiss him. During the procedures, Liberal leader Crin Antonescu took over as interim president.

The whole political crisis, which sparked international criticism about the rule of law in Romania, closed to an end last week with the Court decision that the referendum was invalid, meaning Basescu should return to Presidency. In order to take effect, the decision had to be read in Parliament and then published in the Official Gazette.

But USL politicians tried over the past several days to block the procedures. And on Monday they announced a boycott of the reading in the Parliament, thus preventing the necessary quorum for the session to take place. Eventually, the quorum was met two hours later with only two dozen MPs more than the necessary threshold showing up for the procedure.

Vasile Blaga, leader of Basescu's parliamentary supporters, the Democratic-Liberals (PDL), said after the session that the party had not negotiated with any political group so that the quorum be met.