Ștefan Voitec (b. 1900 – d.1984) was one of the key contributors to the Communist Party’s ascension to power in the wake of World War 2. He was initially a member of the Socialist Party, which later became the Social-Democratic Party, and is considered today one of the three historic parties of Romania. Clearly a leftist party, the Social-Democratic Party was not extremist. However, through Ștefan Voitec’s efforts, the Socialist Party decided to participate together with the Communist Party as part of a larger alliance in the elections of 1946. As a consequence of this alliance, the Social-Democratic Party broke up, since many of its members and key leaders were vocally against any collaboration with the Communist Party, considering it an extremist organization. In 1948, the pro-Communist faction of the Social-Democratic Party officially merged with the Communist Party; thus, a new political organization was born: the Romanian Workers’ Party (Romanian acronym: PMR). Ștefan Voitec maintained a leadership position in the newly formed organization. The year 1948 also marked the official abolition of monarchy in Romania. This cleared the path for more political power and key positions in the new ruling structure for Ștefan Voitec. He became a member of the Presidium of the Great National Assembly (the equivalent of a Parliament), then its president between 1961-1974. He was also Vice-Prime Minister under three post-war governments, and a member of the Romanian Academy. Ștefan Voitec officially handed the sceptre of power to dictator Nicolae Ceausescu when the later became the President of Romania. You can see Voitec in several photos below (he is the one with a goatie).
Source: “Cealaltă față a comuniștilor” – Oana Ilie, Cornel Constantin Ilie