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Romania PM pledges not to seek row with Basescu

Romanian President Traian Basescu has escaped impeachment (© 2009 AFP)

Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta said Monday he would not seek a new confrontation with his centre-right rival, President Traian Basescu, after an impeachment referendum failed through low turnout.

“I am not going to seek confrontation with Basescu,” Ponta told five foreign media including AFP in an interview in his office, stressing that “everyone is going to lose if we are continuing to fight.”

“I hope Basescu is not going to use his tools to delay or stop some of our reforms,” he said, as the two men will have to work together once the president returns in office.

He added that he was not going to “interfere with the president’s prerogatives”, but stressed: “It takes two to tango.”

Basescu on Sunday survived an impeachment referendum called by the centre left ruling Social Liberal Union (USL), which accused him of violating the Constitution.

The president, who was suspended by parliament earlier this month, said Monday he was ready to be a partner of the USL, provided its leaders “prove they want to reinforce the state, mend what they broke, observe the Constitution and legislation.”

Ponta had said earlier Monday that Basescu might have survived the impeachment vote but would no longer have legitimacy in office.

Asked if he would negotiate with the president, Ponta said: “What’s there to discuss with a man who has been rejected by Romanians?”

Signature : BUCHAREST (AFP)

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