Tuesday, December 14, 2010

AP: Romanian opposition party suspends Senate speaker Mircea Geoana who claimed he was told to lie

BUCHAREST, Romania - One of Romania's most prominent politicians who narrowly lost the 2009 presidential race has been suspended by the Social Democratic Party after he accused the party chairman of telling him to lie in a debate.

Party spokesman Radu Moldovan says Mircea Geoana was suspended from the party for six months on Monday.

Geoana was foreign minister from 2000 to 2004 and led the powerful Social Democrats from 2005 to 2009. He is currently speaker of the Senate, second in rank to the president.

Geoana claimed that current party chief Victor Ponta advised him to lie in a pre-election debate about a late-night visit he made to a controversial media owner. Many said the visit cost him the presidential race won by the incumbent Traian Basescu. Ponta denied the allegation.

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