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Romania Court’s President Dies

November 10, 1999

BUCHAREST (AP) _ Vasile Gionea, the first president of the Romanian Constitutional Court, has died, a colleague said Wednesday. He was 85.

``His warmth and composed demeanor, his great knowledge and wide culture made him a mentor and a real father for his colleagues,″ said law professor Victor Zlatescu.

Gionea died Monday. The cause of his death was not disclosed.

He was a full university professor in 1948, when the communist regime was firmly installed in Romania. He was demoted to lecturer and later fired for refusing to join the Communist Party.

After the revolution in 1989, he was named the president of the Constitutional Court since he was among the few experts in constitutional legislation in Romania. He held the post from 1992 to 1995. Gionea also was a deputy of the rightist National Peasants’ Party in the first parliament after the collapse of communism.

Gionea published hundreds of scientific papers and also tried his hand at literary work.

He is survived by his wife and a son. Gionea will be buried on Thursday at Bellu Orthodox cemetery in Bucharest.

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