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Adolfo Suarez, the first elected Prime Minister of Spain, died

Mar 24, 2014 16:30 IST

Adolfo Suarez, the first elected Prime Minister of Spain died on 23 March 2014. He was 81. He was suffering from Alzheimer's disease for the past decade.

The Spanish government announced three days of official morning decided to give Suarez a state funeral.

Adolfo Suarez was the man who led Spain to democracy after decades of dictatorship and became the first elected Prime Minister after the death of General Francisco Franco in 1975.

imageSuarez was chosen to form a new government at the age of 43 in 1976 after the death of General Franco by the then King Juan Carlos. However, he was elected as the Prime Minister of Spain in the first democratic elections held since Spanish Civil War ended in 1936. In the general election of 1977, his party Union of the Democratic Center (UDC) won the elections by huge majority.

He recognised pluralism in Spanish society and legalised the Communist Party which was banned under General Franco's regime. He also led the successful referendum on making a new Constitution of Spain.

Mr Suarez retired from politics in 1991 after making an unsuccessful bid to return to power through his newly formed party the Democratic and Social Centre (CDS) in 1982.

Suarez was a member of Franco's fascist regime. He had served as head of the state broadcaster and a senior leader in the National Movement.

Suárez was rewarded by the king with a noble title, Duke of Suárez, after stepping down as prime minister.  

In a book titled Spain: A Nation Comes of Age written by Robert Graham which describes the democratic transition in Spain, Suárez was described as the changing face of Spain and epitomized the emergence of a new middle class in Spain. Graham was a foreign correspondent in Madrid during Suárez’s premiership.

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Who: Adolfo Suarez

What: died

When: 23 March 2014

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