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Communist Party Czechoslovakia

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November 25, 1989
POPULATION: 15,658,079 (July, 1989) RELIGION: There are about 18 faiths controlled by the Federal Secretariat for Church Affairs and the Ministry of Culture. The largest church is the Roman Catholic with 3.7 million members, headed by Cardinal Frantisek Tomasek. LANGUAGE: Official languages are Czech and Slovak. AREA: About 69,000 square miles, slightly larger than New York state.
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NEWS
July 10, 1990 | From Associated Press
Prague's former Communist Party boss was found guilty Monday of abuse of power and sentenced to four years in jail in the first conviction of a member of the country's former hard-line leadership. The official, Miroslav Stepan, had ordered use of water cannon and tear gas against demonstrators in Prague in the autumn of 1988. A year later, a popular uprising toppled the authoritarian Communist government.
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NEWS
November 27, 1989 | DAN FISHER and TYLER MARSHALL, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
The Communist Party of Czechoslovakia and its government were in full retreat Sunday on the eve of a planned two-hour general strike that promised to be the single biggest test of strength yet between the beleaguered authorities and an opposition that seems to grow by the hour. It followed another whirlwind day of political turmoil that included: -- The second purge of hard-liners from the Politburo in three days.
NEWS
June 11, 1990 | CHARLES T. POWERS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
President Vaclav Havel's Civic Forum and its allied party in Slovakia were assured Sunday of winning a majority of seats in the Federal Assembly, running far ahead of the second-place Communists in Czechoslovakia's first free elections since 1946. A stunning 96% of the country's 11.2 million registered voters turned out for the election, by a wide margin the broadest public endorsement of democracy so far in any of the Eastern European nations that have held free elections.
NEWS
January 11, 1990 | DAN FISHER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
If the symbol of the Romanian revolution is the national flag with a hole where the Communist emblem has been ripped away, the symbol of Czechoslovakia's political transformation is a "happy face." It comes from the stylized initials in Czech for Civic Forum, the popular movement that rose from nothing to overthrow the hard-line Communist regime last year in a matter of days. The name in Czech is Obcanske Forum , and the "O" is rendered with eyes and a smiling mouth.
NEWS
January 14, 1990 | DAN FISHER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A potentially powerful but controversial new political party, described by opponents as a front for the old regime, temporarily banned recent Communist Party defectors from its leading ranks at a sometimes stormy founding congress here Saturday.
NEWS
November 25, 1989 | DAN FISHER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
This nation's tragic past greeted its hopeful future Friday in a massive political seance in Wenceslas Square here, and the medium was an old Communist reformer who has spent most of his time lately tending trees. "The move to freedom was started 20 years ago by Alexander Dubcek, who will speak to you now," said the moderator, and the crowd of about 300,000 exploded in a roar of approval.
NEWS
December 9, 1989 | TYLER MARSHALL, TIMES STAFF WRITER
With his broken wrist, rumpled suit and apologetic manner, Frantisek Valabek somehow personified the Communist Party for which he spoke. For Valabek, the problem was personal and immediate, but it spoke volumes about the state of affairs within the party. Standing awkwardly Friday in the press room of the party's Central Committee office, Valabek admitted his problem.
NEWS
November 25, 1989
August 22--Authorities arrest 370 people for taking part in a demonstration marking the 21st anniversary of the Soviet-led invasion that crushed the "Prague Spring" reform movement. October 27--Police in Prague round up major dissidents, including Vaclav Havel, the country's most famous playwright and founder of Charter 77 human rights group. October 28--Government uses heavily armed police to crush Prague demonstration demanding freedom and end to communism.
NEWS
June 1, 1990 | From Associated Press
The peaceful revolution that swept away Communist rule in Czechoslovakia six months ago was engineered jointly by leaders of the secret police in Moscow and Prague, the British Broadcasting Corp. has reported. A BBC television documentary contends that secret police leaders in both the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia conspired to bring down the hard-line Communist leadership in Prague because it rejected Mikhail S. Gorbachev's reforms in the Soviet Union.
NEWS
June 10, 1990 | CHARLES T. POWERS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Civic Forum, the pro-democracy group that rose from the streets to oust the Communists from power here last autumn, appeared on its way to a landslide victory Saturday in the first free elections in Czechoslovakia in 44 years. Early projections showed the umbrella organization of 11 parties and human rights movements racking up a 52% majority, which would assure it control of the federal Parliament. The Communists were running well back in third place with 10% of the vote.
NEWS
June 8, 1990 | CHARLES T. POWERS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
An air of street festival prevails here on the eve of the first free elections in Czechoslovakia in 44 years. The city is adorned with posters, Vaclav Havel's face beams from half the store windows in town, and hundreds of hawkers peddle campaign buttons for Civic Forum, the mass organization that brought down the hard-line Communist regime here last November.
NEWS
June 7, 1990 | CHARLES T. POWERS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Former Communist Party leader Milos Jakes and four other former high-ranking party officials were reported Wednesday to have been detained in connection with their roles in the Soviet-led invasion that wiped out this nation's "Prague Spring" reforms in 1968. All but one, according to Czechoslovak television, were questioned and released.
NEWS
June 1, 1990 | From Associated Press
The peaceful revolution that swept away Communist rule in Czechoslovakia six months ago was engineered jointly by leaders of the secret police in Moscow and Prague, the British Broadcasting Corp. has reported. A BBC television documentary contends that secret police leaders in both the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia conspired to bring down the hard-line Communist leadership in Prague because it rejected Mikhail S. Gorbachev's reforms in the Soviet Union.
NEWS
February 1, 1990 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Frantisek Pitra, the last old guard Communist left in power by Czechoslovakia's peaceful revolution, resigned as leader of the Czech republic, the official news agency CTK reported. Pitra, 57, is also expected to give up his job as deputy prime minister. CTK did not give the reason for Pitra's resignation, which came a day after the Communists ended 40 years of dominance in Parliament by giving more than 100 of their seats to pro-democracy groups.
NEWS
January 20, 1990 | DAN FISHER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
This country's "velvet revolution" came too late for the ideologically battle-scarred nuns of Bila Voda. Banished to this isolated corner of Czechoslovakia in the early 1950s by an atheistic regime, the 400 nuns who constitute more than two-thirds of the village's population are said to represent the largest concentrated collection of disparate religious orders outside the Vatican.
NEWS
June 11, 1990 | CHARLES T. POWERS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
President Vaclav Havel's Civic Forum and its allied party in Slovakia were assured Sunday of winning a majority of seats in the Federal Assembly, running far ahead of the second-place Communists in Czechoslovakia's first free elections since 1946. A stunning 96% of the country's 11.2 million registered voters turned out for the election, by a wide margin the broadest public endorsement of democracy so far in any of the Eastern European nations that have held free elections.
NEWS
June 10, 1990 | CHARLES T. POWERS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Civic Forum, the pro-democracy group that rose from the streets to oust the Communists from power here last autumn, appeared on its way to a landslide victory Saturday in the first free elections in Czechoslovakia in 44 years. Early projections showed the umbrella organization of 11 parties and human rights movements racking up a 52% majority, which would assure it control of the federal Parliament. The Communists were running well back in third place with 10% of the vote.
NEWS
January 14, 1990 | DAN FISHER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A potentially powerful but controversial new political party, described by opponents as a front for the old regime, temporarily banned recent Communist Party defectors from its leading ranks at a sometimes stormy founding congress here Saturday.
NEWS
January 13, 1990 | DAN FISHER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A growing sense of urgency over putting democratic structures in place emerged here Friday, apparently spurred by concern that events in the Soviet Union may spin out of President Mikhail S. Gorbachev's control. "All the information I have, and also my instincts, tell me that the times are such that we must work quickly," President Vaclav Havel told the Slovak National Council in Bratislava.
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