ADEVARUL, ZIARE.COM (Romania)
BUCHAREST - For the second time since his election in 2004, Romanian President Traian Băsescu survived an impeachment referendum on Sunday.
According to the latest numbers from the National electoral bureau, only 46% of the population voted in the poll. Romanian legislation demands 50% participation for a ballot to count.
An overwhelming 87% of the votes were in favor of the President's dismissal, Bucharest based daily Adevarul reports. A previous referendum in 2007 had 74% of the votes opposed to his dismissal, with a 44% voter turnout.
"A President Who Won Against His Own People" titled this morning the Romanian website Ziare.com. Just as Băsescu had asked them, the majority of Romanians boycotted the referendum vote on Sunday.
The effort to impeach the right-wing president was an initiative of center-left Prime Minister, Victor Ponta -- and viewed by many as a coup d'Etat.
It was highly criticized by the EU, who raised concerns over democracy in the country, accusing Ponta of undermining the rule of law. This comes at a bad time for Romania, as the IMF is planning to review its five billion euro aid deal this week. The review was put on hold until after the referendum.
Romanian President Traian Băsescu (Wikimedia Commons)