Romania is an archetypical case of protracted post-communism. Its regime transition was problematic and its founding election flawed, allowing successor communists to secure their hold on power. A period of quasi-authoritarianism and failed reform followed until critical elections in 1996 brought the liberal opposition to power for the first time. Since that time its political system has stabilized into a pattern in which electoral competition occurs but political accountability is limited and corruption is widespread. The current regime should therefore be considered as consolidated, bearing the marks of the transition period, but unlikely to undergo any further near term dramatic change.