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20 May, 2007 23:22

Romanian President stays in power

Romanian President stays in power

Romanian President Traian Basescu has survived an impeachment referendum. Preliminary figures show about 75% Romanians voted 'no' to suspending the President. The estimated turnout was about 44%.

More than 18 MLN Romanians were eligible to vote, including about 2 MLN citizens living abroad. Final results are due on Monday.

Traian Basescu, a strong proponent of anti-corruption reforms, has been locked in a political stand-off with the Prime Minister and lawmakers. He was suspended by Parliament last month after being accused of abusing his power.

After the referendum he promised to push ahead with reforming the country's political and judicial systems.

The triumphant President vows he won't let his supporters down.

“Now is the time to have a new constitution made for Romanians, not for politicians. I want to guarantee to Romanians that never, absolutely never am I going to negotiate their interests with any politician,” Traian Basescu, Romanian President, stated.

Eradicating wide-spread corruption was a key condition when Romania joined the European Union in January.

Mr Basescu's suspension sparked concern among EU leaders eager to see reforms in the new member nation.

His main rival, PM Tariceanu, vowed to respect the people's decision and work with the President.