Romania’s parliament voted Friday to impeach President Traian Basescu in a spiralling political crisis that has raised warnings in the West that the country’s democracy is under threat.
A total of 256 lawmakers out of 432 voted in favour of the move against the centre-right Basescu, according to an official count, but the impeachment will only take effect if approved in a referendum within 30 days.
The United States and European Union as well as France, Germany, the Council of Europe and several rights groups, including Freedom House and the Helsinki Committee, have all expressed concern.
“The rule of law, the democratic checks and balances and the independence of the judiciary are cornerstones of the European democracy and indispensable for mutual trust within the European Union,” warned the European Commission.
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