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Romanian lawmakers reject referendum on changes to voting law

Romania's parliament, in a non-binding vote, rejected holding a national referendum meant to change voting laws, a second vote in two days against President Traian Basescu.

The vote was symbolic as parliament doesn't have the power to stop the referendum and follows yesterday's approval to investigate allegations that he violated the Constitution. Basescu called last month for a referendum to be held as early as this month that may change laws to allow citizens to vote for politicians by name, rather than for party lists.
Basescu said a direct vote would reduce corruption by making politicians more responsible to voters. Parliament yesterday voted to form a 15-member commission that has about three weeks to decide whether Basescu overstepped his constitutional authority by publicly calling for the ouster of parliamentary leaders, criticizing the Constitutional Court and saying the justice system and parliament are corrupt.
The votes measure support for Basescu amid a feud with Prime Minister Calin Tariceanu. The two have accused each other of corruption in increasing spats since Romania joined the European Union on January 1. The dispute has split the ruling coalition, dominated by Tariceanu's National Liberal Party and the Democrat Party loyal to Basescu. (Bloomberg)