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Romania: New Polls Show Iliescu Trailing, Losing Support

By Lucian Ristea

Prague, 15 October 1996 (RFE/RL) -- For the first time since he took power during Romania's 1989 revolution, President Ion Iliescu finds himself trailing his opponents in a new public opinion poll.

The poll was conducted by the Department of Statistics of the Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies on behalf of the private Antena-one TV station.

The poll suggested that opposition candidate Emil Constantinescu of the Democratic Convention alliance enjoyed the greatest support with about 32 percent of those questioned. The poll was conducted in 24 cities and 30 rural areas across the country. Finishing second in the poll was another opposition candidate, former Prime Minister Petre Roman, with about 28 percent. And Iliescu was third in the poll with about 24 percent.

The poll's sampling procedures were not detailed, and a margin of error was not reported. And the poll also suggested that opposition candidates could prevail over candidates of Iliescu's governing Party of Social Democracy in parliamentary elections scheduled to take place with the presidential election on November 3.

Another recent opinion survey suggested Iliescu leading, but it noted his support had fallen significantly. This poll, which also reported no margin of error, showed Iliescu with only marginally more support than Constantinescu and Roman.

Reports have said a meeting between Constantinescu and Roman is scheduled soon, and Constantinescu has issued an appeal to all opposition parties to unite before the elections.