Ladislav Adamec


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(b. Frenstat pod Radhostem, Czechoslovakia, 10 Sept. 1926; d. Prague, 14 Apr. 2007)

Czech; Czechoslovak Prime Minister 1988–9 Adamec made a career within the party apparatus of the Czech Republic, where he gained the reputation of a technocrat, critical of economic inefficiency. He prospered through the support of the federal premier, Lubomír Štrougal. In March 1987 he entered the Presidium and became Prime Minister of the Czech Republic. In October 1988 he replaced Štrougal as federal premier. Adamec paid lip-service to the language of economic reform, but never did more than tinker with the existing system. In February 1989 he visited Moscow where he was pressed to take a more liberal course. When the ‘Velvet Revolution’ broke out in Prague in November 1989, Adamec disassociated himself from the rest of the Communist Party leadership and negotiated with the opposition. On 26 November he joined Havel and Dubček to address a vast crowd in Prague's Wenceslas Square. On 3 December he made a last-ditch attempt to salvage the power of the Communist Party by proposing a government headed by himself and in which the Communists would hold sixteen out of twenty-one posts. The opposition rejected this scheme. On 7 December 1989 Adamec resigned as Czechoslovak premier and was succeeded by Marián Čalfa. In March 1990 Adamec took over the newly created post of chairman of the (Communist) Party. He resigned from this post in 1990 and stood down from Parliament before the 1992 elections, ceasing to play any role in public life thereafter.

Subjects: Politics.

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