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Romanian Court Rules Presidential Impeachment Vote Invalid

Traian Basescu
Romania's Constitutional Court has ruled that a referendum to impeach President Traian Basescu was invalid.

The verdict reinstates Basescu, who was suspended by parliament on July 6.

The court decision was adopted by a vote of six to three.

Romania's ruling coalition, headed by leftist Prime Minister Victor Ponta, last month attempted to impeach the center-right Basescu, triggering a July 29 referendum that failed after voter turnout fell short of the required 50 percent.

Almost 90 percent of those who voted supported ousting Basescu, however, leading the ruling coalition to contest the authenticity of electoral registers and forcing the high court to rule on the vote's validity.

The referendum was marred by reports of widespread fraud by ruling authorities.

Basescu was elected to a second five-year term in 2009.

Based on reporting by AFP and