Romanian parliament votes down bills to prosecute former ministers

Romanian parliament votes down bills to prosecute former ministersBucharest  - The Romanian parliament, meeting in special session, voted Wednesday against prosecuting former premier Adrian Nastase and former transportation minister Miron Mitrea.

A bill to seek prosecution of Nastase gained only 120 votes, far short of the necessary two-thirds majority of 218 votes, while 150 deputies voted against the bill.

In Mitrea's case, 160 deputies supported a bill for prosecution, also short of the two-thirds needed, as to 107 voting against it.

Both politicians are accused of corruption by the country's prosecutors.

President Traian Basescu had called the special session to vote on whether to prosecute the two former ministers.

Wednesday's vote comes in the wake of a recent European Union Commission report criticising the Romanian parliament for systematically thwarting the prosecution of politicians.

Nastase and Mitrea are leading members of the opposition Socialist party PSD, with Mitrea also considered as the party's top strategist for the parliamentary elections coming up in the autumn. (dpa)