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Last Updated: Thursday, 19 April 2007, 23:18 GMT 00:18 UK
Romania's MPs suspend president
Supporters rally for ousted Romanian President Traian Basescu
Thousands of supporters have rallied for Mr Basescu (centre)
The Romanian parliament has voted to suspend President Traian Basescu amid a deepening political crisis.

Members of parliament have accused him of violating Romania's constitution, even though the constitutional court found no evidence of that.

He has been at odds for several months with the Prime Minister, Calin Popescu Tariceanu.

The vote paves the way for a national referendum on Mr Basescu's impeachment within 30 days.

Supporters rally

Thousands of supporters gathered at University Square urging Mr Basescu not to resign.

He remained defiant after the suspension, telling the protesters he would see them "at the polls".

"I assure you that after my return I will continue to speak openly and tell the truth about the government," he said.

Correspondents say he remains the most popular politician in the country.

Mr Basescu and Mr Tariceanu have accused each other on television of involvement in dubious multi-million-dollar energy deals.

In the parliament on Thursday 322 members voted to suspend Mr Basescu, with 108 against and 10 abstentions.

The suspension was proposed by the leftist opposition party PSD.

Mr Basescu denies any wrongdoing and has vowed to resign if a referendum on his impeachment is called.


SEE ALSO
Country profile: Romania
29 Dec 06 |  Country profiles
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