Ion Iliescu President
Ion Iliescu (Romanian pronunciation: [iˈon iliˈesku] (13px ); born 3 March 1930) is a Romanian politician and statesman, who served as President of Romania from 1989 until 1996, and from 2000 until 2004. From 1996 to 2000 and from 2004 until his retirement in 2008, Iliescu was a senator for the Social Democratic Party (PSD), whose honorary president he remains.He joined the Communist Party in 1953 and became a member of its Central Committee in 1965, however beginning with 1971 he was gradually marginalized by Nicolae Ceaușescu. He had a leading role in the Romanian Revolution, becoming the country's president in December 1989. In May 1990, he became Romania's first freely elected head of state. After a new constitution was approved by popular referendum, he served a further two terms as president, from 1992 to 1996, and from 2000 to 2004, separated by the presidency of Emil Constantinescu.Iliescu is widely recognized as a predominant figure in the first fifteen years of post-revolution politics. During his terms Romanian politics stabilized, and Romania joined NATO.