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Twenty Years After Communism$
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Michael Bernhard and Jan Kubik

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199375134

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199375134.001.0001

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Romania Twenty Years after 1989

Romania Twenty Years after 1989

The Bizarre Echoes of a Contested Revolution

(p.85) 4 Romania Twenty Years after 1989
Twenty Years After Communism

Grigore Pop-Eleches

Oxford University Press

The official events commemorating the twentieth anniversary organized by the Romanian state and civil society were surprisingly modest. However, the political reverberations of the highly contested events of December 1989 were clearly visible during the presidential election contest that dominated the weeks prior to the anniversary. Therefore this chapter analyzes the electorally motivated mnemonic competition of the 2009 presidential election and particularly the significant reconfiguration of the traditional fault lines of the unresolved debates about the Romanian revolution. The ex-communist successor party, PSD, attempted to reframe the political discourse through an electoral alliance with traditionally anti-communist parties and a large-scale meeting in the symbolically charged Opera Square in Timişoara. However, this strategy ultimately backfired both rhetorically and politically, thereby illustrating the limits to Romania’s otherwise rather malleable memory regime.

Keywords:   Romania, Romanian revolution, 2009 presidential elections, Timişoara

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