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Romanian president says bid to oust him failed
Romanian president says he survived bid to oust him because of low turnout in referendum
By The Associated Press

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) Exit polls indicate that Romanians have voted to impeach their president, but he is claiming the turnout was too low for the national referendum to be legally binding.

Two exit polls said more than 80 percent voted Sunday to impeach President Traian Basescu, but they did not predict the final turnout. By law, such referendums are invalid if less than half the electorate cast ballots in them.

Three hours before the polls closed, Romania's Central Election Bureau said the turnout was just 37.67 percent. It did not immediately give the outcome of the referendum or the turnout total.

But Basescu claimed on national TV that he had survived the vote because of the low turnout, saying: "Romanians have invalidated the referendum by not participating."

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