Romania's president suspended by parliament

The opposition-dominated parliament voted Thursday to suspend Romania's popular President Traian Basescu from office on grounds that he abused his powers. Lawmakers voted 322-108 in favor of the suspension. According to the law, parliament can suspend the president for 30 days and organize a referendum to impeach him from office. Lawmakers have accused Basescu of 19 instances of constitutional abuse such as trying to usurp control of the Cabinet from the prime minister, criticizing judges and ordering the tapping of minister's telephone calls. More than half of voting age Romanians would have to vote in favor of the impeachment for it to pass, which would be virtually impossible, given Basescu's popularity and the usually low turnout in Romanian ballots. Polls indicate he would win a new term in office if new elections are held.