Romania PM demands president resign, row persists

July 30, 2012 17:51

BUCHAREST - Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta demanded the president resign on Monday, saying he had lost all credibility, but Traian Basescu refused, indicating Sunday's referendum had not ended a feud which has delayed vital economic reforms.

The election bureau said turnout in the referendum, called by Ponta to seek support for Basescu's impeachment, was 46 percent - below the 50 percent needed to make it valid - though 88 percent of those who did vote, backed Basescu's removal.

The result - still to be confirmed by the Constitutional Court - lifted the leu currency, but meant the unresolved feud could dominate parliamentary elections in November and slow reforms linked to an aid deal backed by the International Monetary Fund.

"He (Basescu) will probably stay in Cotroceni (presidential palace), will have cars, villas and some profiteers around him who will continue to advise and praise him," Ponta said. "But for the Romanian people he stopped being a leader last night."

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