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Adolfo Suárez González

Suárez González, Adolfo (ädôlˈfō swäˈrāth gōnthäˈlĕth) [key], 1932–, Spanish political leader. Because he worked in the Nationalist Movement (the Falange) for 18 years and became its secretary-general after Franco's death (1975), centrist and leftist forces opposed his appointment in July, 1976, as premier by King Juan Carlos. In 1977 he led his Union of the Democratic Center to victory in Spain's first free elections in 41 years. His centrist government instituted democractic reforms, and his coalition again won the 1979 elections under the new constitution. Less successful as a day-to-day organizer than as a crisis manager, he was replaced as prime minister in 1981; Leopoldo Calvo Sotelo succeeded him, but only after a failed coup in which the Cortes was seized while in session. In 1982 he founded the Democratic and Social Center party. He retired from active politics in 1991.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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