Iliescu, Ion, 1930–, Romanian political leader, president of Romania (1990–96, 2000–2004). A member of the Communist party from 1953, he held a series of party posts before he was elected a member of the central committee in 1968. In 1971 he was demoted by President Nicolae Ceauşescu and assigned to provincial and minor posts; in 1984 he also was removed from the central committee. In Dec., 1989, Ceauşescu was overthrown, and he and his wife were arrested and executed; Iliescu was installed (Feb., 1990) as provisional president. In the elections of May, 1990, he won the presidency and his National Salvation Front won a legislative majority. He was reelected under a new constitution in 1992 but lost in 1996. Elected again in 2000 (as head of the Social Democratic party), Iliescu led the country into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. He also served as a senator (1996–2000, 2004–8). In 2018 he and other officials were put on trial for crimes against humanity for the violent suppression of antigovernment demonstrations in 1990; he also has been similarly indicted for deaths that occurred in 1989 revolution.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2023, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Romanian History: Biographies