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Impeachment is the process by which a legislative body levels charges against a government official. Impeachment does not in itself remove the official definitively from office; it is similar to an indictment in criminal law, and thus it is essentially the statement of charges against the official. Whereas in some countries the individual is provisionally removed, in others they can remain in office during the trial. Once impeached, an individual must then face the possibility of conviction on the charges by a legislative vote, and a judgment which convicts the official on the articles of impeachment entails the officials definitive removal from office. Because impeachment and conviction of officials involve an overturning of the normal constitutional procedures by which individuals achieve high office and because it generally requires a supermajority, they are usually reserved for those deemed to have committed serious abuses of their office. In the United States, for example, impeachment at the federal level is limited to those who may have committed "Treason, Bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors". Impeachment exists under constitutional law in many countries around the world, including Brazil, France, India, Ireland, the Philippines, Russia, South Korea, and the United States.


2012 Romanian presidential impeachment referendum

A referendum on impeaching President Traian Basescu was held in Romania on 29 July 2012. The referendum was required after Parliament voted in favour of impeaching Basescu on 6 July, and had to take place within a month. It was the second referendum on impeaching Basescu, the first having been held in May 2007, in which 74% of voters chose to keep him in office. Basescu was later narrowly re-elected in 2009. The parliament of Romania impeached the former president and called on the nation to dismiss Basescu on a variety of charges, but Basescu dismissed the poll as a "putsch" and asked the public to boycott it. Polls showed a majority of Romanians favoring the impeachment of the President, but the turnout was estimated to be around 46%, thus rendering the referendum invalid. The Constitutional court has the final verdict in the case of the validity of the referendum. Final results from the Central Electoral Bureau were published on 1 August 2012. On 2 August 2012, the Court announced that a verdict for the validity of the referendum will be pronounced after 12 September 2012. Until that date, all the authorities have to clear up the electoral lists, in order to correctly calculate the voter turnout. Finally, the verdict will be presented in a joint session of Parliament. Meanwhile, the Constitutional Court rescheduled the verdict for 31 August 2012. A second rescheduling placed the verdict on 21 August 2012. The Constitutional Court of Romania subsequently declared the referendum invalid, reinstating Basescu as president of Romania, which succeeded on 28 August.


Impeachment of Shirani Bandaranayake

Shirani Bandaranayake, the 43rd Chief Justice of Sri Lanka, was impeached by Parliament and then removed from office by President Mahinda Rajapaksa in January 2013. Bandaranayake was accused of a number of charges including financial impropriety and interfering in legal cases, all of which she has denied. The impeachment followed a series of rulings against the government by the Supreme Court, including one against a bill proposed by Minister Basil Rajapaksa, President Rajapaksas brother. Bandaranayake was replaced as chief justice by former Attorney General Mohan Peiris. Peiris is considered to be an ally of President Rajapaksa and his appointment is seen by critics as further consolidation of power by the president and his family. Bandaranayake refused to recognise the impeachment and lawyers groups refused to work with the new chief justice. Bandaranayakes controversial impeachment drew much criticism and concern from within and outside of Sri Lanka. On 28 January 2015 she was reinstated and retired on 29 January, the next day.


Parliamentary motion to impeach Tony Blair

In November 2004, a cross-party group of British MPs tabled a motion in the House of Commons to impeach the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom at the time, Tony Blair for "high crimes and misdemeanours". The motion was never debated.


Impeachment of Warren Hastings

The impeachment of Warren Hastings was a failed attempt between 1788 and 1795 to impeach the first Governor-General of Bengal in the Parliament of Great Britain. Hastings was accused of misconduct during his time in Calcutta particularly relating to mismanagement and personal corruption. The prosecution was led by Edmund Burke and became a wider debate about the role of the East India Company and the expanding empire in India. The trial did not sit continuously and the case dragged on for seven years. When the eventual verdict was given Hastings was overwhelmingly acquitted. It has been described as "probably the British Isles most famous, certainly the longest, political trial".


Impeach (motion)

The motion to impeach is used to bring an accusation against a person. A majority vote is needed to put the accused on trial. A majority vote convicts for a minor offense, and a two-thirds vote for a major offense. A vote of censure or reprimand requires majority vote, and suspension or expulsion a two-thirds vote. Roberts Rules of Order does not have a motion to impeach. However, this book requires a fair disciplinary process which includes appointing a committee to conduct a confidential investigation, report of the committee and preferral of charges if warranted, formal notification of the accused, and trial; and a two-thirds vote is required to expel.