Romania’s Social-Liberal Union Starts Procedures to Suspend President Traian Basescu

Posted November 21st, 2011 at 5:15 pm (UTC-5)
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Romania's Social-Liberal Union says it has started procedures to suspend President Traian Basescu, saying he is overstepping his authority and breaching the constitution.

The USL, which is comprised of the Liberal Party and Social-Democrats, is upset with Mr. Basescu's plan to freeze pensions next year regardless of a ruling from the Constitutional Court.

The USL is hoping to complete work on the suspension request within a week. The measure would have to be approved by the parliamentary groups making up the USL before it can be submitted for a full vote. Even if the measure is passed by both houses of parliament it would still have to be confirmed in a national referendum.

Analysts say the suspension process is unlikely to succeed, because the USL is short of the parliamentary majority needed to pass the measure. Prime Minister Emil Boc has called the USL's move “irresponsible”.

Mr Basescu, whose term runs until 2014, has been in a similar position before. In 2007 he was suspended by parliament, but he was reinstated after but three quarters of the voters in the nationwide referendum opposed the suspension. Mr. Basescu was elected for a second and final five-year term in 2009.