The ALDE Party deeply regrets the passing of Spanish Liberal Adolfo Suarez (1932-2014), who was the first democratic Prime Minister of Spain after almost forty years of Franco dictatorship. ALDE Party President Sir Graham Watson MEP offered his “condolences to the family of Spain's Adolfo Suarez, a great Liberal who will be much missed” and emphasised that“Spain needs Liberalism more than ever.”
The sad event of his death, last Sunday, brought together all Spanish political parties, who pointed out Suarez’s great capacity to find a compromise, his fight to build democratic legitimacy and adopt a series of reforms that brought Spain into democracy. Upon the Political Reform Law of 1976, Suarez led Spain to its first free elections.
Many liberal leaders have shown their condolences after the sad event. Whereas Sir Graham Watson MEP stated that “as leader of Liberal party CDS and President of Liberal International between 1989 and 1992, Suarez showed how Spain can be Liberal. Sadly it is no longer”, Liberal International President Hans van Baalen described Suarez as one of the politicians “who guided Spain to democracy immediately after the death of dictator Francisco Franco”. Jordi Pujol, former president to the Generalitat from CDC, member of the ALDE party, said that "Suarez’s balance of the work he accomplished is positive, despite some bad decisions. We should be grateful for what he did. "
Appointed Prime Minister in 1976, Suarez became the first democratically elected Prime Minister once again with the political party he founded, Union de Centro Democratico (UCD) in 1977. UCD was a coalition of several liberal parties. He won the elections again in 1979 after the approval of the Spanish constitution. Disappointed with the Spanish political landscape and after his dismissal in 1981, he abandoned UCD and established Centro Democratico y Social (CDS). Suarez was President of Liberal International between 1989 and 1992.
Not only was Adolfo Suarez the first elected president of the recent Spanish democracy, but he also succeed to find consensus and reach much needed compromise to keep the past behind and introduce Spain into the democratic path. ALDE party regrets the passing away of Adolfo Suarez and will always remember him as a great defender of democracy, the rule of law and the father of the Spanish Transition.