BUCHAREST — Romania’s ruling coalition is seeking to take the first step toward impeaching and suspending President Traian Basescu amid deepening political turmoil in the Balkan country.
The ruling Social Liberal Union, headed by Prime Minister Victor Ponta of the Social Democrats and Liberal leader Crin Antonescu, filed the proposal in Parliament Wednesday to suspend Basescu, Liberal Vice President Eugen Nicolaescu told Realitatea television. The document, cited by Mediafax, said Basescu violated the constitution. A vote on the proposal will be held Friday, Antonescu said.
‘‘There are many reasons to suspend the president,’’ Hunor Kelemen, who heads the opposition Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania, told reporters. ‘‘We are considering attending the Parliament session and casting a ballot.’’
The Social Democrats and Liberals, who hold a majority in Parliament, are embroiled in a policy feud with Basescu. In extraordinary sessions Tuesday, the ruling parties replaced the two heads of Parliament with Social and Liberal leaders as well as the country’s ombudsman, strengthening their hold on the legislature. Nonetheless, the move is being challenged in the Constitutional Court, throwing the political process into chaos.
Should the suspension motion get through Parliament, a referendum to determine whether the president should remain in office must be held within 30 days, according to the constitution.
An impeachment would require early presidential elections in three months, according to the constitution of Romania, which is part of the European Union.