US concerned about rule of law in Romania

AP News
Posted: Aug 13, 2012 8:13 AM
US concerned about rule of law in Romania

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — A senior U.S. official says he has expressed concerns about Romania's rule of law in a meeting with its president, who has been suspended on charges of overstepping his authority and violating the constitution.

The U.S. and the European Union have voiced doubts about Bucharest's commitment to democracy, after a court failed to rule on whether a referendum to suspend President Traian Basescu was valid.

Voters overwhelmingly voted to remove Basescu, but too few people voted to validate the vote. The left-leaning government claims enough people voted as the country's electorate has shrunk.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Philip Gordon met Basescu Monday and called Romania "a strategic partner" and said the US was concerned about "the rule of law and independent institutions." He also met interim President Crin Antonescu.