The impeachment of Romania’s embattled president, Traian Basescu, was ruled unconstitutional Tuesday by the country’s Constitutional Court.
“We stated that the referendum quorum condition was not met,” court president Judge Augustin Zegrean said, according to the EU Observer. Zegrean said Basescu should now return to office.
He was impeached in a referendum last month, but the court said the bid was invalid because voter turnout was below the 50 percent threshold.
Acting Romanian President, Crin Antonescu, agreed to respect the ruling and step down while still commenting that Basescu is “illegitimate” to be president. “In light of the result of the referendum it still stands that Traian Basescu was relieved of his position,” he said.
The center-right European People’s Party in the European Parliament told Romanian officials to respect the court’s ruling.
“The Romanian people need responsible political leadership that focuses on the reform and development of their country and not on the personal political agendas of socialist and liberal leaders,” said Joseph Daul, who heads the EPP group, according to the Euractiv publication.
When Basescu returns to office, he will remain an unpopular figure in Romanian politics because he supported cuts to wages and tax increases as preconditions to secure a $25 billion bailout package from the European Union, International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank in 2009.
Basescu said it is time to solve Romania’s problems. “We have to restore a functioning democratic Romania, and restore our credibility,” he said, according to Euro News.A five billion euro stand-by agreement with the IMF is at risk if the country doesn’t get down to the business of spending cuts and implementing austerity policies, said Euro News.