Romanian Lawmakers Move to Impeach President

Posted July 5th, 2012 at 5:30 am (UTC-5)
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A coalition of Romanian lawmakers are 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 the President Basescu.

Lawmakers from the three-party Liberal Social Union , which include Prime Minister Ponta's Social Democrat Party, could vote on a motion to impeach the president as early as Friday, after debating the issue Thursday. Some analysts say the coalition's actions to remove President Basescu are illegal. His supporters have likened Mr. Ponta's attack on the president as an attack on democracy in Romania and they are calling for the prime minister's resignation because of a plagiarism scandal.

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 parliament matters, making it easier to impeach the president without a legal fight. Voters will have the final say on President Basescu's fate during a referendum vote. The USL suspended a President Basescu in 2007, but he was reinstated during a referendum vote.