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Comparative democratisation - Essay Example

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Comparative democratisation

The death of Franco elevated Dan Juan Carlos de Bourbon to the monarchy. Until Franco's death, Juan Carlos had discreetly stood in the background and served to follow the dictator's plan. However once in power as king of Spain Juan Carlos facilitated the development of the current political system, as his father, Don Juan de Bourbon had advocated since 1946.
Juan Carlos began his reign without leaving the confines of Franco's legal system. As such he swore fidelity to the principles of the movement national, the sole legal party of the Franco era. He took possession of the crown before the Francoist Cortes Generales and respected Ley Organica del Estado (the organic law of the state) for the appointment of his first head of government. He showed the beginning of transition through his speech before the Cortes.
The first government of Juan Carlos was presided over by Carlos Arias Navarro. The king made this appointment in accordance with the guidelines of the 1966 Ley organica Del Estado (organic law of the state). However in July 1976, as Prime Minister Arias Navarro continued to delay reform and object to democratisation, King Juan Carlos demanded his resignation.
Fernandez Miranda, as president of the council of the kingdom, obtained Adolfo Suarez's placements on the new list of three candidates for head of the government. The king chose Suarez because he felt he would be able to meet the challenge of the would be political process that lay ahead.
Adolfo Suarez quickly presented a clear program based on how two points;
(a) The development of a law for political reform that once approved by the Cortes and Spanish public in a referendum would open the constituent process for creating a liberal democracy in Spain.
(b) A call for democratic elections in June 1977, in order to elect a Cortes that would be charged with drawing up a new democratic constitution.
Despite all difficulties from the army and opposition Suarez's project went underway without delay between July 1976 and June 1977.
The draft of the law for political reform (Ley para la Reforma politiza) written by Torcuato Fernandez Miranda was approved by the Suarez Government in September 1976. This law was debated throughout the month of November by Cortes under the presidency of Fernandez-Miranda. It was approved with 425 votes in favour, 598 against and 13 abstentions. The Suarez government wanted to gain further legitimacy for the changes through a popular referendum with 77.72 % participation rate. 94% of the voters voted in favour of the changes to add to his credibility Suarez, freed 400 prisoners in July 1976. He also granted blanket amnesty in May same year. In December 1976, he disbanded the Tribunal de Order Publica (TOP), a sort of Francoist secret police. He legalized the right to strike, with the right to unionize being granted a month after Suarez initiated political contact with the opposition by meeting Felipe Gonzalez, secretary general of the PSOE in 1976. However the big problem was for political normalization was the legalization of the communist party of Spain (Partido communista de Espania). PCE's secretary general, Santiago Carrillo's offer of a "social pact" pushed Suarez to take the riskiest step of transition by legalizing PCE in April 1977.
To resolve the difficulty of a group of hard -liner Francoist led by Jose Antonio Giron, Suarez centered on General Diez Alegria. He decided to give the members this group the ...Show more

Summary

The main distinctive feature about the Spanish transition is the change of dictatorship to democracy. The Spanish transition to democracy or new Bourbon restoration was the era when Spain had to move from the dictatorship of Francisco Franco to a liberal democratic state…
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Comparative democratisation essay example
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