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Romanian president says he was suspended because he refused to make deals with parliament

Romanian president says he was suspended because he refused to make deals with parliament

Romania's suspended President Traian Basescu said Wednesday that Parliament removed him because he refused to make deals with leading politicians on judicial and moral reforms, adding he was confident that he would not be impeached in a May 19 referendum.
"I was not part of the system," said Basescu, adding that Romania, a new European Union member, was still run by "a very important number of politicians who are controlled by oligarchs from a financial point of view."
He referred to business leaders who own media groups and are politically connected, either as party members or through business alliances to top politicians.
"Negotiation means harmonizing positions but it is not possible when our positions are so different," he said about his relationship with lawmakers.
Basescu has irked some politicians by refusing to be a figurehead president and take a less-prominent role in politics.The job has limited official powers but much informal power, and Basescu vowed to be an active president after winning presidential elections in a public vote in 2004. He remains Romania's most popular politician.
"There is no way I can lose," he said Wednesday, adding that he hoped there would be a good turnout for the referendum. If he should lose, he said, he would "go home" and give up politics.
Basescu said he had disagreed with lawmakers on four key issues, angering them by condemning communism, by proposing to change the electoral system, declassifying the communist-era Securitate files and by his efforts to shield the justice system from interference from lawmakers who are being investigated in connection with corruption allegations.
"What was I going to do?" he told members of the foreign media "I don't want to close the Securitate files, I don't want to not condemn communism nor declassify half the Securitate files," he said.
Parliament last month voted 322 to 108 to suspend the president because of allegations that he violated the constitution. The Constitutional Court had ruled, however, that there was no evidence he violated the constitution.
He has angered lawmakers with his outspoken criticism of high-level corruption and with his open dislike of Prime Minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu, a former ally.
Romanians will vote whether to remove Basescu from office. More than half the electorate must vote to suspend him, which observers say is virtually impossible, given traditionally low turnouts and the fact that the president is the most popular Romanian politician.
Some 2 million Romanians work abroad, mostly in Italy and Spain during the farm seasons, making it difficult to get enough of a turnout for the referendum to be validated.
Basescu vowed that after the referendum, he would continue to fight corruption and clean up the political class. He said the referendum gave Romanians a choice to say what kind of country they want, adding that the country will clean up the political class in the coming elections.
Parliament has very low credibility among Romanians, who perceive it as a corrupt institution.


Updated : 2021-05-19 02:16 GMT+08:00