Thursday, May 31, 2007

Romanian president demands early elections

BUCHAREST, Romania, May 31 (UPI) -- Romania's president, after surviving an impeachment referendum, is demanding the government's resignation and early elections.

Romanian President Traian Basescu said Prime Minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu should step down, the Serbian news agency Beta reported Thursday.

In his first address to the Romanian parliament since he was reinstated as head of state by the May 19 public referendum, Basescu said the government's resignation and early parliamentary elections are the only fair and just solution to the political crisis.

Basescu said the referendum, in which 75 percent of voters who cast ballots didn't support his impeachment, showed the will of the sovereign people was in contradiction with a parliamentary majority that doesn't represents the interests of citizens.

On April 19, the parliament suspended Basescu as president at the request of the opposition Social-Democratic Party. Opponents claimed he was trying to grab more power than the constitution grants the president. Lawmakers also alleged Basescu's long-standing power struggle with Tariceanu was blocking judiciary and economic reforms.

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