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Romania's Top Court Confirms President's Suspension


The political crisis has sparked protests by Romanians like these people in the capital, Bucharest, who fear the rule of law might be at stake.

The political crisis has sparked protests by Romanians like these people in the capital, Bucharest, who fear the rule of law might be at stake.

Romania's constitutional court has approved last week's parliamentary vote to suspend President Traian Basescu.

The court ruled that the new leftist speaker of the Senate, Crin Antonescu, is the acting president until a July 29 referendum decides whether Basescu will be impeached.

However, the court still has to rule whether an amendment introduced by leftist premier Victor Ponta's government is constitutional.

The amendment eases the president's removal through a referendum, requiring only a majority of those voting.

A majority of all eligible voters was previously needed.

If the court rules the amendment unconstitutional, the referendum could be canceled.

The July 6 vote by parliament to remove Basescu has prompted widespread international criticism.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said late on July 9 that the move is "unacceptable" and "infringes the fundamental principles of the rule of law."

Based on reporting by TVR Info, AFP, and hotnews.ro

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