Miloš Jakeš


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(b. Prague, 12 Aug. 1922)

Czech; leader of the Czechoslovak Communist Party (CPCz) 1987–9 Of working-class origin, Jakeš first worked as an electrical engineer, joining the CPCz in 1945. He was educated from 1955 to 1958 at the Higher Party School in Moscow, where he shared a room with Dubček. On his return to Czechoslovakia he entered the Ministry of the Interior, where he reached the rank of Deputy Minister in 1966. In 1968 Dubček gave him the influential position of chairman of the Party's Audit and Control Commission. Jakeš was opposed to the reform movement of the ‘Prague Spring’, and was removed as Deputy Minister. In August 1968 he supported the Soviet intervention in Czechoslovakia.

After 1969 Jakeš supervised the wholesale purge of reformists. He became a Secretary of the Central Committee and candidate member of the Presidium (equivalent to the Politburo) in 1977. He became full member of the Presidium in 1981. In 1987 he replaced Husák as General Secretary of the CPCz. His opposition to any meaningful change in the Communist system strained his relations with Gorbachev. He was caught unawares by the ‘Velvet Revolution’ and resigned from office along with the rest of the Presidium on 24 November 1989. The following month he was dismissed from the CPCz. In 2002 he was acquitted of charges of treason relating to the events of 1968.

Subjects: Politics.

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