Romania Constitutional Court to Decide Earlier on Referendum

World | August 14, 2012, Tuesday // 21:05
Bulgaria: Romania Constitutional Court to Decide Earlier on Referendum Romanian president Traian Basescu waves to lawmakers after addressing the parliament assembly during impeachment vote procedures at the Parliament House, in Bucharest, Romania, 06 July 2012. EPA/BGNES

Romania's Constitutional Court has decided to pull forward its decision on the validity of the impeachment referendum for President Traian Basescu and announce it next Tuesday, August 21.

Initially, the Court had stated it will not pronounce its decision until September 12, but it is now saying that it will act faster so as not to prolong the heavy institutional crisis that has grappled Romania.

After the July 29 referendum, Romania's electoral authorities had announced that the referendum asking for a Basescu step-down is not passing due to a turnout of less than 50% of voters.

The Constitutional Court has to certify the referendum result, a decision which was expected Thursday, until the Court announced it will postpone it until mid-September.

The Court has stated it wants to check electoral lists of voters before it approves the result, so as to see whether the turnout of 46.24% is correct.

This has prolonged a drawn-out political crisis in Romania, which has resulted from a conflict between Traian Basescu and his Democratic Liberal Party and PM Victor Ponta and his Social-Liberal Union.

The two senior statesmen have accused each other of encroaching on the other's constitutional powers.

EU leaders have slammed PM Ponta of what they said was close to breach of therule of law in the staging of the impeachment referendum.

Among other things, Ponta's cabinet has significantly decreased the independence of the Romanian Constitutional Court.

Monday the Romanian PM had stated that although Basescu is allegedly "no longer legitimate" as President, he would confront him no longer.

Until Traian Basescu is officially restored as Romania's President, the office will be occuped by former Social-Liberal Union co-leader Crin Antonescu.

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Tags: Romania, Romanian, Crin Antonescu, Traian Basescu, Victor Ponta, EU, impeachment, rule of law, constitutional, Constitutional Court

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