WORLD : 5,000 Join Bucharest Protest

<i> From Times wire services</i>

About 5,000 demonstrators defied a government ban today and protested what they claimed was the governing party’s fraudulent victory in Romania’s first multiparty elections after 44 years of communism.

“Down with Iliescu!” they shouted in a downtown square that has been the focus of anti-government and anti-Communist protests for a month.

The government of President-elect Ion Iliescu had said the protest was unauthorized, and police detained three people who helped organize the rally. Only a few traffic police were in sight when the demonstration began, however.