Former Czechoslovak PM Adamec dead

April 20, 2007 at 9:34 AM

PRAGUE, Czech Republic, April 20 (UPI) -- Ladislav Adamec, a former Czechoslovak prime minister who helped keep the transition from communism non-violent, has died in Prague. He was 80.

Adamec, who died Saturday, was a former official with the Communist Party, or KSC, CTK reported Friday. As the country's last Communist prime minister, he handed power to the opposition in 1989 as part of the movement that drove communists from power in the country.

"Adamec was prepared to negotiate immediately and he found courage to distance himself from the KSC central committee," said musician Michal Kocab, who served as an aide to former president Vaclav Havel in the early 1990s.

"Adamec was the first of the former Communist leaders to realize in 1989 that it is necessary to talk with the opposition and not to send armed police against it," said Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs Alexandr Vondra.

Kocab said talks with Adamec were "surprisingly constructive" and he remained frank and friendly throughout the process and after the fall of the communists from power.

"And his frankness was not pretended," Kocab said.

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