BUCHAREST, Romania — Final results showed President-elect Ion Iliescu soundly defeated an ultranationalist whose racist and extremist statements threatened to isolate Romania from mainstream Europe.
Iliescu won 67% of Sunday's ballots to Corneliu Vadim Tudor's 33%, according to results published Tuesday by the central electoral bureau.
The victory by the former Communist who governed Romania from 1990 to 1996 was greeted with relief at home and by Romania's neighbors concerned about instability should Tudor have won. Tudor made a name for himself under Nicolae Ceausescu by writing poetry praising the late Communist dictator and then became known for his anti-Semitic and racist publications.
Much of Iliescu's lopsided victory was due to the support of voters who normally would have backed a centrist candidate. But after their favorites were eliminated in a first round, they opted for Iliescu, despite his Communist past, considering him a lesser evil than Tudor.
Iliescu hopes to formally take office next week.