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Romanian lawmakers urge president to resign

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Published : 2014-06-26 21:05
Updated : 2014-06-26 21:05

BUCHAREST (AFP) ― Romania’s parliament on Wednesday called on President Traian Basescu to step down after his brother was arrested for accepting bribes from a mobster.

A total of 344 MPs out of 588 voted in favor of a nonbinding declaration saying that Basescu’s resignation was crucial to restore “Romania’s credibility.”

Basescu ― who has made fighting corruption a centerpiece of his leadership ― has been left red-faced after both his brother and son-in-law were slapped with graft charges.

Seventeen lawmakers abstained from Wednesday’s vote while MPs from two center-right parties backing Basescu did not take part.

“President Basescu can no longer guarantee the prestige, the independence and the legitimacy of the presidential office,” lawmakers said.

“That is why we urge him to resign immediately,” they added, blasting the implication of the president’s brother in an “extremely serious graft case.”

But Basescu has already ruled out standing down, saying he was determined to pursue his term “to the last day.”

His term comes to an end after a presidential election in November.

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