Romania president not impeached after low voter turnout


Romanian President Traian Basescu speaks to supporters during an election rally in Bucharest on July 26, 2012.



Romanian President Traian Basescu has survived an impeachment vote, after an insufficient number of voters turned out to cast ballots.

Election officials said the voter turnout Sunday was close to 46 percent, and did not reach the required 50 percent, according to Voice of America. Basescu said Romanian invalidated the referendum by not voting.

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The president had urged his supporters to boycott the polls, and said, "The best help today is to stay home," reported CNN. Romanians who did participate in the referendum voted nearly 9 to 1 to impeach Basescu, the Central Election Bureau said.

Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta demanded Basescu resign on Monday, claiming the president had lost all credibility, according to Reuters.

"He (Basescu) will probably stay in Cotroceni (presidential palace), will have cars, villas and some profiteers around him who will continue to advise and praise him," Ponta told Reuters. "But for the Romanian people he stopped being a leader last night."

The country's parliament suspended Basescu earlier this month after Ponta and his Social-Liberal Union party accused him of violating the constitution and overstepping his authority by ordering wage and benefit cuts for public workers, reported CNN.

According to VOA, Basescu said the impeachment process was a political vendetta. He is to be reinstated and will continue his term until it ends in 2014.