Twenty-nine years after his death and the end of the Communist regime Nicolae Ceaușescu remains the most popular Romanian president, a study by polling institute Isogep showed.
In a poll conducted on a representative sample of 1,065 people, 64.3% had a good opinion of Ceaușescu, followed by current president Klaus Iohannis with 50.7%, the only other president with an approval rate over 50%. The other three presidents included in the poll were Emil Constantinescu, Ion Iliescu and Traian Băsescu.
Ceaușescu (born in 1918) left school at the age of 11, was an apprentice shoemaker and a minor member of the Communist Party. His rise in the party ranks began in 1943 while in an internment camp he became a protegé of Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej who later became the first Communist leader of Romania between 1947 and 1965. He was followed by Ceaușescu who subsequently ruled Romania for 24 years. He was sentenced to death and executed on December 25, 1989 in what was the last execution in Romania before capital punishment was abolished in January 1990.
In a November poll by the Black Sea University Foundation (FUMR) Ceaușescu was deemed the most defining Romanian politician, followed by King Michael and King Ferdinand I.
Title image: U.S. President Gerald Ford (L) and Romanian President Nicolae Ceaușescu in Bucharest on August 2, 1975 (Photo: U.S. National Archive)