Romanian President Traian Basescu was suspended
Romanian President Traian Basescu was suspended for 30 days after the Parliament expressed 258 pro-votes out of 432. A popular referendum follows on July 29 to decide whether he will remain or not in office.
Traian Basescu was suspended on the grounds that he would have allegedly interfered in the legal affairs and government business. The European Union expressed concern about the situation in Romania.
“The Commission is concerned about current developments in Romania, especially regarding actions that appear to reduce the effective powers of independent institutions like the Constitutional Court. The rule of law, the democratic checks and balances and the independence of the judiciary are cornerstones of the European democracy and indispensable for mutual trust within the European Union. Government policy and political action must respect these principles and values,” according to an EU Commission statement on Romania.
The same statement reports that President of the EU Commission Jose Manuel Barroso had talks today with the Romanian Premier Victor Ponta and expressed the Commission’s concerns. Mr. Ponta will travel to Brussels on Thursday to meet him and discuss the issues.
The political framework has been very careworn in the past days. Romanian Prime Minister has been accused of plagiarism in his Doctoral thesis. Mr. Ponta rejected the accusations, but claimed that he is ready to give up his academic name if it will be demonstrated that he has copied part of his work. In an interview with the Spanish El Pais newspaper, the Romanian Premier said he will resign if proven that his thesis was plagiarized. Another recent incident happened during today’s cabinet session when Victor Ponta called Traian Basescu a “swindler.”
US Ambassador to Bucharest Mark Gitenstein said on Wednesday that the president’s demission won’t affect Romania’s image, but serious consequences will appear if it will be done in an unconstitutional way.
“I am deeply concerned about any attempt to threaten the independence of Romania’s democratic institutions. Manipulation or threats to your institutions particularly your courts will not only be of concern to our government but to the way Romania is viewed by financial markets,” the US Ambassador said.