Romanian Lawmakers Move to Impeach President

Posted July 5th, 2012 at 7:25 am (UTC-5)
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A coalition of Romanian lawmakers is moving to try to impeach President Traian Basescu as part of a power struggle with the country's prime minister.

The coalition's action is the latest move in a month-long campaign of attacks by Prime Minister Victor Ponta against President Basescu.

Lawmakers from the three-party Liberal Social Union , including Prime Minister Ponta's Social Democrat Party, could vote on a motion to impeach the president as early as Friday.

Some analysts say the effort to remove President Basescu is illegal. His supporters say the move is an attack on democracy in Romania and they are calling for the prime minister's resignation.

The president has been accused of overstepping his powers and violating the country's constitution.

The pro-government coalition has also approved a measure barring the Constitutional Court from ruling on parliamentary matters, making it easier to impeach the president without a legal fight.

The USL suspended President Basescu in 2007, but he was reinstated during a referendum vote.