Following unofficial returns indicating his victory in a November 17 runoff, Romanian presidential candidate Emil Constantinescu addressed his supporters at Bucharest City Hall. Final results confirmed that Constantinescu, the leader of a democratic coalition, had defeated the incumbent, former communist Ion Iliescu. Excerpts from Constantinescu’s remarks appear below:
Dear fellow citizens, the postelectoral surveys of the presidential election indicate that the Romanian electorate has put its trust in me. I know that, before going to vote, millions of people have prayed recently for the country’s change for the better. Beyond the boundaries of an electoral event, the people saw in their vote the light of history and of Romania’s profound destiny. This autumn, they were not faced with mere elections, but with a turning point in our history and in Romania’s vocation at home and abroad. . . .
I am well aware of the fact that this victory is mine only to a small extent. It is the victory of millions of Romanian citizens who understood that Romania needs true democracy, a healthy economy, and a better life for all its people. . . . It is the victory of those who gave their lives so that today we can decide our own and the country’s fate by vote. It is the victory of millions of Romanian citizens who have lived and endured the oppression of the 50-year-long communist dictatorship, by preserving their hope for a better life as well as their humanness, honesty, and sense of justice. . . .
Today’s victory, the victory of democratic forces in democratic elections, is an overdue, expected, and hoped for historical reparation for our forefathers and for us, too. This is the only way we can go toward the profound and real reconciliation that today’s Romania needs. We proved, through these elections, that we are the most important political and civic force in Romania. . . .
Isolated for four and a half decades behind the iron curtain and having [End Page 185] lost its way for another seven years behind the silky curtain of the transition process, Romania is capable of jumping stages very quickly and can occupy a dignified place in the civilized world, a place which it deserves. . . .
Our national ideals were stolen, but the Romanians kept them alive, hidden in their hearts. We have gone through too much evil, therefore we deserve our portion of good, happiness, and love. I will not tolerate dishonesty, violence, and abuses anymore. There is a way to come out of the night, namely through our national values, our faith in our strength, and the conviction that we are not inferior to anyone.
On this cold night, I ask you to be alongside me for Romania’s true awakening. . . . Romania’s citizens have placed all their hope in democracy. We, those who have won the parliamentary and presidential elections this year, are facing today the historical responsibility of this hope and its fulfillment.
Nicaragua’s October 20 presidential election was won by Liberal Alliance candidate Arnoldo Alemán, who defeated the Sandinista candidate, former president Daniel Ortega, by a wide margin. On October 24, Alemán made a victory statement at Liberal Alliance headquarters in Managua. Following are excerpts from his remarks:
I wish to address myself to all Nicaraguans and the international community to confirm very clearly and without any doubts the great civic triumph of the people and democracy, a victory obtained by the Liberal Alliance at the ballot box. . . .
The democracy, peace, stability, and economic development with social justice which the Nicaraguan people demand so urgently go hand in hand and are based solely on a legitimacy that emanates from the people’s will, the only source of sovereignty. . . .
I believe firmly in establishing a true state of law and justice, with due respect for the Constitution, bylaws, and institutions which make up the cornerstone for tolerance, pluralism, and reconciliation in the new republic which we all desire. . . .
We will form a true national government, open, broad, without exclusions. . . . This will be a government that will include the participation of civil society, founded on justice, honesty, capability, and an authentic state of law. . . .
Let us all share the joy of this major historical, peaceful, and civic step which we have taken in the process to consolidate democracy. Let us cement this process into solid and respectful institutions strictly devoted to the law and the inalienable rights of the individual . . . and the basic principle of human dignity.