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Romanians support suspended president

May 20, 2007 at 11:31 AM

BUCHAREST, Romania, May 20 (UPI) -- A preliminary vote count indicates Romanians overwhelmingly rejected impeaching suspended President Traian Basescu, it was reported Sunday.

Basescu was suspended April 19 after being accused of violating the Romanian Constitution.

With 92 percent of the votes in, officials reported 74 percent of voters casting ballots Saturday rejected impeachment, the BBC reported.

About 44 percent of the more than 18 million eligible voters cast ballots, the BBC said. Prime Minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu said the low voter turnout meant it was a victory without glory for Basescu.

Opposition Social Democratic Party members, who initiated the impeachment process, describe Basescu as dictatorial and corrupt.

Basescu maintains his enemies want to stop his anti-corruption drive, which has rattled what he calls "the economic mafia," the BBC reported.

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