Primary Sources

The Position of the Civic Forum and Public Against Violence Toward the Negotiations with Czechoslovak Prime Minister Ladislav Adamec

Description

Civic Forum and Public Against Violence released this communique after their second round of negotiations with the government on November 28. The nationwide general strike had occurred the day before with resounding success; it was estimated that between one-half and three-fourths of the adult population participated in some fashion. This triumph gave the opposition a great deal of leverage in the negotiations; it also signaled growing popular impatience for major change. During this round of talks, the government, led by Federal Prime Minister Ladislav Adamec, made some major concessions. The most significant of these was the agreement to remove from the constitution the guarantee of the Communist Party's leading role in society and Marxism-Leninism as the state's official ideology. This eliminated the political basis for the party's monopoly on power. Negotiators also made progress towards resolving long-standing opposition demands, including the release of political prisoners and the creation of a committee to investigate November 17. Other key issues, such as the formation of a new federal government and the resignation of President Gustav Husak, proved to be more problematic and would require further bargaining between the two sides.

Source

The Civic Forum, "The Position of the Civic Forum and Public Against Violence Toward the Negotiations with Czechoslovak Prime Minister Ladislav Adamec Prague," 28 November 1989, trans. Caroline Kovtun, Cold War International History Project, Documents and Papers, CWIHP (accessed May 14, 2008).

Primary Source—Excerpt

...

1. The Prime Minister promised the delegation of the CF and PAV [Public Against Violence] that he would form a new government by 3 December 1989.

2. The Prime Minister announced to the delegation of the CF and PAV that tomorrow the CSSR government will present the Federal Assembly with a proposal for a constitutional law by which the articles legally establishing the leading role of the CPCz and Marxism-Leninism as the state ideology will be expunged.

...

4. The Prime Minister informed the CF and PAV delegation that he had already submitted to the President of the republic a proposal for amnesty for political prisoners ...

5.The CF gratefully received the news from Dr. [Kucera], the deputy chairman of the Federal Assembly [FA], that tomorrow at the meeting of the FA he will propose the creation of a special committee for the investigation of the brutal intervention against the peaceful demonstration of Prague students on 17 November 1989....

6. The CF and PAV delegation requested that the new government publish the directives of its program declaration as soon as possible ... should the public not be satisfied with the programmatic declaration of the government and with its implementation, then at the end of the year the CF and PAV will demand that the prime minister resign ...

7. On 29 November 1989, CF and PAV will demand in writing that the President of the Republic, Dr. Gustav Husak, step down by 10 December 1989.

8. The CF and PAV delegation suggested to the Prime Minister that the government of the CSSR submit to the Federal Assembly a proposal for a constitutional law by which the representatives ... who have broken their oath as representatives and ignored the will and interest of the people, will be recalled from their functions....

9. The CF challenges the government and the Federal Assembly to immediately condemn the 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia by Warsaw Pact troops ...

10. The CF believes that this outcome justifies it in challenging every citizen to continue working in peace while in a state of readiness to strike....

How to Cite this Source

The Civic Forum, "The Position of the Civic Forum and Public Against Violence Toward the Negotiations with Czechoslovak Prime Minister Ladislav Adamec," Making the History of 1989, Item #514, http://chnm.gmu.edu/1989/items/show/514 (accessed July 30 2014, 5:14 pm).