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Romania court rules impeachment vote invalid: report

Trian Basescu — YouTube video grab
Trian Basescu — YouTube video grab

BUCHAREST: Romania's Constitutional Court ruled Tuesday that a referendum to impeach the country's president was invalid, leaving Trian Basescu in power, the Mediafax news agency reported.

Romania's ruling centre-left coalition USL headed by Prime Minister Victor Ponta last month launched a move to impeach centre-right rival Basescu, which led to a referendum that failed as voter turnout fell short of the required 50 per cent threshold.

The judges' decision was adopted with a majority vote of six to three, Mediafax said.

The court has not yet issued an official statement.

In the referendum an overwhelming majority of voters — 87 per cent — supported ousting Basescu, so the USL contested the electoral rolls after the ballot, forcing the top court to rule on its validity.

On Monday, Ponta's government sent the court new voters' numbers, hoping this would overturn the result.

Basescu, who has been suspended from the presidency, is now expected to return to his office to see out his second five-year term which started in 2009.

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