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Romania lawmakers vote to impeach president

Lawmakers in Romania voted on Friday to impeach President Traian Basescu [official website, in Romanian] for overstepping the bounds of his authority by interfering in judicial and legislative affairs. The Romanian Parliament [official website] voted 256-114 for impeachment. Romanian voters will have the final say [AP report] as to whether Basescu will be removed from office in a referendum to be held later this month. Basescu has been president of Romania since 2004. In 2009 the Constitutional Court of Romania [official website, in Romanian] declared incumbent president Basescu winner of the country's disputed presidential election [JURIST report]. He has survived impeachment once before. Basescu was reinstated in 2007 after the high court certified results of a referendum in which 74 percent of voters rejected [JURIST reports] Basescu's impeachment.

Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta [BBC profile] has also recently been accused of overstepping his authority. The Constitutional Court of Romania last week accused Ponta and his leftist party, the Social Liberal Union (SLU), of attempting to seize control over the judiciary [JURIST report] system. The court announced that it has alerted the European authorities [Reuters report] of the situation. The prime minister had ignored last week's decision by the court which found that his opponent, Basescu, should represent the country at the European Council [official website] meeting in Brussel.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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