BUCHAREST (Reuters) - Romania's Constitutional Court will rule on August 21 on the validity of a referendum on impeaching suspended President Traian Basescu, bringing the decision forward by 10 days, a source at the court said on Tuesday.
The campaign to oust Basescu, led by the leftist Social Liberal Union (USL) of Prime Minister Victor Ponta, has drawn criticism from the European Union and the United States and driven the leu currency to record lows.
The court's ruling may go some way to ease the political crisis that has stalled policymaking in the EU's second-poorest state and raised concerns over its ability to stick to the terms of a 5 billion euros aid deal led by the International Monetary Fund.
In the July 29 referendum, 88 percent of those who cast ballots voted to impeach Basescu, but only 46 percent of registered voters took part, fewer than the required threshold of 50 percent of the electorate.
The court was originally expected to rule earlier this month, but it postponed a decision, asking to see revised voter lists after USL officials claimed the actual number of voters was smaller than the official number and that the turnout threshold had, therefore, been met.
Tuesday's rescheduling is the Court's third since the vote.
Prosecutors want to investigate a former minister in Ponta's party, who resigned last week, to see if he tried to influence the court ruling by raising doubts about the voter lists.
(Reporting by Ioana Patran; Writing by Michael Winfrey; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)