The Institute for the Investigation of Communist Crimes and the Memory of the Romanian Exile (IICCMER) expresses its regrets regarding the passing away of two emblematic figures of the Romanian exile Elisabeth Rațiu (1921-2016), wife of the former Peasant Party leader Ion Raţiu, and Radu Câmpeanu (1922-2016), the first president of the National Liberal Party after the fall of the communist regime.
Elisabeth Rațiu was born in the UK and married Ion Raţiu in 1945, in London, after meeting him at Cambridge. They had two sons, Indrei, born in 1946, and Nicolae, born in 1948. In 1979, Ion and Elisabeth Raţiu founded The Ratiu Family Charitable Foundation in order to promote and support projects contributing to the evolution of higher education and the cultural and historical research of Romania. More details about the Raţiu Foundation are available on http://www.ratiufamilyfoundation.com/.
Radu Câmpeanu was born on February 28, 1922, in Bucharest and graduated from the University of Law and Economic Sciences in Bucharest (1945). He was president of the National Liberal Student Youth and leader of the student committee who organized the last big anticommunist protest on November 8, 1945, initiated and led by students. He was a political prisoner during 1947-1956. After his release, he moved to France with his wife and son. In 1990 he returns to the country and re-established the National Liberal Party, whose leader he would be until 1993. He was the PNL candidate for Romanian presidency at the 1990 elections, obtaining 10.64% of votes, thus occupying the second place. The decline of the party lead by Câmpeanu peaked with the inability of entering the Parliament at the 1992 elections. This happened after the parting of PNL from the Democratic Convention (CDR). In 1993, Câmpeanu loses leadership of the party and starts another one, PNL Câmpeanu.
After 1992, the various liberal formations which had appeared after the splits with the party tried to reunite and Radu Câmpeanu remained in isolation at the lead of a politically marginalized party. In 2003, the formation lead by Câmpeanu is absorbed by PNL.
Although he was elected senator on behalf of the PNL-PD, his political activity in the party decreased. He was senator until December 12, 2008.