Novotný, Antonín än´tônyēn nô´vôtnē [key], 1904–75, Czechoslovakian Communist leader. A founding member (1921) of the Communist party, he participated (1948) in the Communist seizure of power and became first secretary of the party in 1953. In 1957 he became president of Czechoslovakia, thus uniting the two top national posts. Novotný's regime was characterized by repression, bureaucracy, and economic stagnation. A liberal majority, led by Alexander Dubček , coalesced against him and in Jan., 1968, Novotný was replaced as first secretary by Dubček. Later that year he was forced to resign from the presidency.
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