Thursday, June 2, 2011

Romania's president starts procedures to revise Constitution; cut 1 chamber of parliament

By The Associated Press

BUCHAREST, Romania — Romania's president says he has started procedures to revise the Constitution, which will include changing parliament into a one-chamber legislature.

Traian Basescu said Wednesday the revised parliament will have a maximum of 300 lawmakers, instead of the 471 who currently sit in two houses. The decision follows a 2009 referendum in which Romanians voted to get rid of one parliamentary chamber.

Other proposed revisions include removing parliamentary immunity for lawmakers investigated of wrongdoing, the budget deficit to be set at a maximum of 3 per cent of GDP, and a maximum public debt of 60 per cent of GDP.

Basescu said the changes will force governments to use money responsibly, especially before elections.

Romanians will be asked their opinion on his proposals in a referendum.

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