Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Romania: Constitution Court rules that presidential recall must have an absolute majority to be valid

President Traian Basescu is facing a possible recall election, and the Romania 's Constitutional Court has now ruled that at least half the electorate must vote for the recall to be valid. The new Prime Minister is behind the push for the recall vote.

According to the Wall Street Journal:

The court upheld a new law lowering the threshold for removal to a majority of the votes cast, but added the turnout proviso, which could make for a close election.

The recall vote is likely to be hard-fought. Mr. Ponta's left-leaning alliance scored a major victory in local elections in June. About 56% of registered voters cast ballots. Analysts said that if Mr. Basescu's supporters choose not to vote in the recall, turnout could drop below the 50% limit set by the court.

Mr. Basescu survived a previous impeachment in 2007 during his first term as president. After that, his supporters passed legislation in 2010 to make it harder to remove a president—requiring "yes" votes from more than 50% of registered voters for a recall. Mr. Ponta's government recently changed the law back, lowering the threshold to more than 50% of votes cast.

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