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Exit Polls Indicate Romanian President Survives Impeachment Referendum


Exit polls indicate that suspended Romanian President Traian Basescu has survived Saturday's impeachment referendum with more than 75 percent of the vote.

Romanian television reported that two polls showed Mr. Basescu winning with 75 and 78 percent. It said that the voter turnout was about 30 percent.

Mr. Basescu told Euronews television earlier today that members of parliament acted to stop him from moving ahead with anti-corruption reforms. But he added those reforms are vital under the terms of Romania's membership in the European Union.

The president's rival, Prime Minister Calin Pepescu-Tariceanu, accused him of resorting to rhetoric to please the crowds.

One of Mr. Basescu's harshest critics, former president Ion Iliescu, says that Mr. Basescu must leave or political disputes will continue.

Mr. Basescu, who was a mayor of Bucharest, came to power in 2004, vowing to reform the government and ensure the independence of the judiciary. He has accused the prime minister of serving special interests.

His opponents, mostly Social Democrats and former communists, have accused him of violating the constitution.

The parliament voted to suspend Mr. Basescu last month, but he refused to resign.

Some information in this report provided by AP and AFP.

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