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Romanian president survives impeachment referendum: preliminary results

(Xinhua)

08:56, July 30, 2012

BUCHAREST, July 30 (Xinhua) -- Romania's suspended President Traian Basescu survived an impeachment referendum Sunday, as the turnout is below the required minimum of 50 percent, according to the preliminary results announced early Monday by the Central Electoral Bureau.

"On Sunday, until 23:00 local time (2100 GMT), when polls were closed, 45.92 percent of voters expressed their electoral option, according to estimates," announced the bureau.

A national referendum was held Sunday, between 7:00 to 23:00 (0500 to 2100 GMT), for ousting Basescu.

The ruling Liberal Social Union argued that the referendum will be validated, as the turnout was over 50 percent according to the parallel count conducted by the union.

The preliminary results of the Central Electoral Bureau are only estimates, made based on the centralization of votes in 2,889 polling stations, out of 18,242, said Dan Sova, Senator of the major ruling Social Democratic Party.

The "real" result will be known after completion of counting votes, stressed Liberal's Vice-Chairman Relu Fenechiu, adding that "we believe the final turnout will be about 52 percent."

Acting President Crin Antonescu said he will wait for the official results of the Sunday's referendum.

"We will wait for the official results of the Central Electoral Bureau in a democratic and civilised manner. We will wait for and we will all respect the decision of the Constitutional Court," Antonescu told a press conference at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace.

The exit polls conducted by two pollsters revealed late Sunday that the turnout is below the required minimum in the referendum to recall Basescu and the latter is likely to stay in his post.

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