Adolfo Suárez

Adolfo Suárez

Infobox_Prime Minister
name = Don Adolfo Suárez González
honorific-suffix =
Duke of Suárez, Grandee of Spain, Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece
nationality = Spain

caption = Adolfo Suárez at a poster of the Spanish political party Union of the Democratic Centre
order = 73rd President of the Government of Spain
3rd of the Democratic Transition (1975-1977)
1st of Democratic Spain (since 1977)

term_start = 3 July 1976
term_end = 25 February 1981
predecessor = Fernando de Santiago y Díaz
successor = Leopoldo Calvo Sotelo
office2 = 11th General Secretary of the Movement
salary2 =
term_start2 = 11 December 1975
term_end2 = 3 July 1976
president2 = Carlos Arias Navarro
Fernando de Santiago y Díaz
predecessor2 = José Solís Ruiz
successor2 = Ignacio García López
office3 =
salary3 =
term_start3 =
term_end3 =
president3 =
predecessor3 =
successor3 =
birth_date = birth date and age|df=yes|1932|9|25
birth_place = Madrid, Spain
dead = alive
death_date =
demise_place =
spouse = Amparo Illana Elórtegui († 2001)
party = UCD
vicepresident = Manuel Gutiérrez Mellado
religion = Roman Catholic

Don Adolfo Suárez González, 1st Duke of Suárez, Grandee of Spain, knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece ( _es. Don Adolfo Suárez González, I Duque de Suárez, Grande de España, caballero del Toisón de Oro) (born 25 September 1932) was Spain's first democratically elected prime minister after the dictatorship of Francisco Franco, and a key figure in the country's transition to democracy.


Suárez studied Law at the Salamanca University in Salamanca and held several government posts during the late Francoist regime.

He became the Minister Secretary General of the National Movement ("Movimiento Nacional"), that acted as the single party, for 18 years and following the death of Franco in late 1975. For this reason, centrists and leftists opposed his appointment as President of the Government by King Juan Carlos in July 1976. Suárez, as a nationalist, was chosen by the monarch to lead the country towards a democratic, parliamentary monarchy without annoying the powerful conservative factions (especially the military) in the country. Surprising many observers and political opponents, Suárez introduced Political Reform in 1976 as a first, decisive step in the "Transition" ("La Transición") to democracy.

In 1977, he led the Democratic Center Union ("Unión de Centro Democrático", UCD) to victory in Spain's first free elections in 41 years, and became the first democratically elected prime minister after the Franco regime.

His centrist government instituted democratic reforms, and his coalition won again the 1979 elections under the new constitution. Less successful as a day-to-day organizer than as a crisis manager, he resigned as premier in 1981. [ Preston, Paul, "Juan Carlos: Steering Spain from Dictatorship to Democracy", page 457. Harper Perennial, 2005. ISBN-10: 0006386938 ] In 1982 he founded Democratic and Social Center (Centro Democrático y Social, CDS) party, which never achieved the success of UCD. He retired from active politics in 1991, for political party and family reasons.

Suárez was awarded the "Príncipe de Asturias a la Concordia" award in September 1996, in recognition of his important personal contribution to Spanish democracy. The King of Spain made him Duke of Suárez in 1981. On 8 June 2007 on the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the first democratic elections, King Juan Carlos I named Suárez as Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece for his important role during the Spanish transition to democracy. [ [] BOE 07-06-09, Spanish official journal, accessed 9 June 2007.]


Both his wife, Amparo Illana Elórtegui, and elder daughter, Marian Suárez Illana, suffered and died from cancer (in 2001 and 2004, respectively). Another daughter, Sonsoles Suárez Illana, became a TV news anchor for Antena 3. Son Adolfo Suárez Illana was chosen by José María Aznar as the People's Party (PP) candidate for the post of president of the Autonomous Community of Castilla-La Mancha, but lost against incumbent José Bono Martínez, of the Partido Socialista Obrero Español (PSOE). Fact|date=February 2007 Suárez has two more siblings, Laura and Javier.


On 31 May 2005, his son, Adolfo Suárez Illana, announced on Spanish television that his father was suffering from Alzheimer's disease (or a similar illness), which meant that he could no longer remember his period as prime minister of Spain. The announcement followed speculation about Suárez's health in the Spanish media.


ee also

* History of Spain
* Politics of Spain
* Prime Minister of Spain
* Spanish transition to democracy

External links

* [ Tribute to Adolfo Suárez: Guestbook]

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