At the instigation of his political opponents, the socialist prime minister victor ponta and his allied liberal party (PNL), parliament initiated impeachment proceedings against the civic basescu. Romanians will decide whether he will actually be removed from office in a referendum on 29. July.
Ponta and his allies accuse basescu of illegally usurping government powers, influencing the judiciary and violating the principle of non-partisanship that applies to the head of state. In berlin, washington, brussel and strabburg, possible violations of the law in the proceedings are viewed with concern.
Prime minister ponta now sees "all blockades removed" that stood in the way of his government, as he said on saturday at a cabinet meeting in bucharest. "We must now prove that we can function without having to constantly worry about criminal charges (…), because of objections of all our steps and because of sabotage of the institutions", he added.
Basescu had repeatedly stressed that ponta's action against him was above all a threat to the country's independent judiciary. "The judiciary has started to function, that scares the criminals, whether they are politicians or connected to politics from outside," basescu said.
Ponta had eliminated the constitutional court in the case against basescu. The council of europe in strasbourg wants to verify whether this procedure was legal. EU commission president jose manuel barroso to meet with ponta in brussel next thursday to discuss the issue.
German eu minister guido westerwelle called for simpler sanctioning options for the EU: "we need mechanisms so that we can react together more quickly if an eu partner country grossly disregards the letter or spirit of the european community of values," westerwelle told the frankfurter allgemeine sonntagszeitung (FAS). The U.S. Federal office in washington declared that the separation of powers in romania was threatened and the courts weakened.