Romanians vote on prez impeachment

Romanians vote on prez impeachment

Romania's unpopular president was fighting for his political life on Sunday as Romanians voted on whether to impeach him, part of a political battle that has raised questions about the rule of law in the fledgling European Union member.

Traian Basescu’s rivals in the government are seeking to impeach him for the second time in five years. They claim the 60-year-old populist violated the constitution by meddling in government business, coddling cronies and using the secret services against enemies.

Basescu, a former ship captain whose popularity has plummeted over economic challenges, says the impeachment process is a political vendetta carried out by opponents and has urged his supporters to boycott the vote — a tactic that may help him survive thanks to a rule requiring turnout to be more than half of the total electorate.

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