The National Salvation Front

1950 WordsFeb 17, 20188 Pages
The National Salvation Front (FSN), led by Ion Iliescu, comprised the new provisional government. Iliescu gained popularity by proclaiming his role in the death of Ceauşescu and championing a new “one party democracy” (Wolchik and Cury 318). Ceauşescu’s legacy and the lack of political competition in Romania led the citizen’s of Romania to believe in the empty promises of reform made by the FSN and Iliescu. The National Salvation Front promised to be a transitional government and to offer free and fair elections (Wolchik and Cury 317). In May 1990, they offered free, but unfair elections in which Iliescu won the presidency with over 85% of the vote and the FSN won a majority of parliament with 66% of the vote (Vachudova 41). Iliescu quickly proved to be anti- Ceauşescu, but not anti-communist. Immediately after his election in 1990, Iliescu began to concentrate his power by appointing communists to government positions, ousting non-communists, and taking control of the media (Vachudova 45). Anti-Iliescu demonstrations in Bucharest began in response and Iliescu sent miners to violently oppress the demonstrations (Linz and Stepan 361). Iliescu continued to demonstrate that he would not allow a strong opposition. A small number of opposition groups managed to exist in Romania; however, they were small and fragmented. Iliescu was reelected in 1992, despite his repeated manipulation of illiberal democratic processes such as rent-seeking and partial economic reform. Under
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