Topic: Ion Iliescu

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Ion Iliescu (born March 3, 1930) is a Romanian politician. He joined the Communist Party in 1953, and became a member of the Central Committee in 1965, serving in various positions until Nicolae Ceauşescu was overthrown in 1989. Iliescu was the elected President of Romania for eleven years (three terms), from 1990 to 1992, 1992 to 1996, and 2000 to 2004. His first and second terms were separated from the third term by the presidency of Emil Constantinescu. His successor is the former Democratic Party leader Traian Băsescu. From 2004 until recently, Iliescu has been Senator for the Social Democratic Party (PSD). The PSD was one of several parties formed after the breakup of the National Salvation Front, in the early 1990s. Ion Iliescu has decided not to participate in the November 30, 2008 election as a candidate for a new four year parliamentary position, but he's still remaining a prominent figure of the party he founded.

Iliescu is widely recognized as the predominant figure in the first fifteen years of post-1989 Romanian Revolution politics. During his terms Romanian politics stabilized, and Romania joined NATO. However, he is often accused by political opponents and journalists of retaining communist convictions and allegiances, as well as tolerating corruption in the party he led (successively named FSN, FDSN, PDSR, and PSD) and his administrations.

In 2005, investigations began that could eventually lead to Iliescu's trial on a number of charges, including crimes against humanity, related to considerable abuses of power he allegedly committed during the years 1989-1990, especially during the Romanian Revolution and the violent miners' riots of the early and mid-1990s. Iliescu and his supporters claim that the investigations are an instrument of political vengeance by his opponents currently in power.

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