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Drive to unseat Traian Basescu is encountering fresh legal obstacles inside the country and causing concern beyond Romania’s borders.
Moves by ruling parties in Romania to get rid of the country’s President hit a fresh obstacle on Tuesday.
The country’s Constitutional Court ruled that more than half the electorate must turn out in July’s planned referendum on removing him from office if the vote is to be considered valid.
The ruling Social Liberal Union last week passed a law saying that the vote would be considered valid whatever the level of the turnout.
Prime Minister Victor Ponta has now said that he will ask parliament to meet to reconcile the court ruling with parliament’s recent decree.
Meanwhile, Ponta’s drive to unseat Traian Basescu is also meeting mounting opposition from outside the country, where the European Union is eyeing developments.
The European Commission expressed concern over the political turbulence in Romania on Tuesday while the Council of Europe has asked constitutional experts to examine whether Basescu’s suspension infringes the rule of law.
"We are concerned by the speed and consequences of decisions taken over the past few weeks,” a spokeswoman for the European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union, said on Tuesday.
Romania’s Parliament last week voted to suspend Basescu for 30 days pending an impeachment referendum scheduled for July 29.
The right-leaning Basescu, who was elected to a five-year term in 2009, had been politically isolated since Ponta’s left-of-centre coalition replaced a government of Basescu allies in May.
If the impeachment of Basescu goes ahead, Romania will have to elect a new President in the autumn as well as hold fresh parliamentary elections - none of which bodes well for the country’s tottering economy. Romania is heavily dependent on a 5 billion euro IMF-led bailout.
An overcrowded market and lack of legal safeguards leaves the media in Kosovo vulnerable to a variety of political pressures.