Romania Two Cheers for the Front Runner

Though Iliescu leads in the polls, many voters doubt he will bring Western-style democracy to a tempestuous political scene

A single unshaded bulb hanging from the ceiling provides the only light in Floresti's dark and musty village hall. The first half a dozen rows are occupied by about 40 farm workers who are listening to a candidate from Romania's National Peasant Party promise the return of all agricultural land that was confiscated by the Communists after World War II.

"We are running for office to eliminate the effects of the dictatorship," the candidate explains. "The land must be given back to you." It is the first time since 1946 that anyone has campaigned for public office in Floresti (pop. 2,000),...

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