This article analyzes the reasons for the remarkable adaptability and electoral success of Communist successor parties in post-1990 Romania. The first part develops a three-dimensional classification scheme to identify Communist successor parties on the basis of their institutional, personnel and ideological continuity with the defunct Communist Party. The second section traces the political evolution of Communist successor parties, and argues that their remarkably strong and consistent electoral performance is primarily due to their ability to appeal to voters beyond the traditional base of East European ex-Communist parties on the left of the ideological spectrum. The final section uses survey data to suggest that the continued electoral appeal of Communist successor parties in Romania is due neither to Communist nostalgia or lack of democracy but to the complicated legacy of the Ceauşescu regime and the 1989 revolution.

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