Bucharest: Romanians on Sunday are set to vote in a referendum on impeaching the President Traian Basescu, who has already been suspended by the Parliament.
Weeks of political standoff between the centre-right President and a centre-left government led by Prime Minister Victor Ponta, seem to threaten the democracy that returned to the nation in 1990.
The government accuses Basescu of violating the constitution by intervening in the affairs of the government whereas Basescu says that this is a political vendetta engineered by his opponents to siphon off EU funds.
For President Basescu, who survived a referendum earlier in 2007, this is the second impeachment attempt in last five years.
But things have changed now, with once popular Basescu losing his popularity amongst voters after the tough austerity cuts in 2010 that he imposed to meet the terms of a 20 billion euro IMF-led loan.
According to the law in Romania, for President to be impeached, the turnout must be at least half or the total numbers of voters, that is, over 18 millions.
If less than 50% voters turn up, President will survive the impeachment and get reinstated to continue till 2014.
But if voters gather in large numbers, that is, more than 50% are in favour of impeachment, President Basescu will be removed and a fresh Presidential poll would be conducted within three months.
With Agency Inputs
First Published: Sunday, July 29, 2012, 12:19