GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS
Politics: Monopoly on politics held by Communist Party
of Czechoslovakia (Komunisticka strana Ceskoslovenska--KSC).
Gustav Husak elected first secretary of KSC in 1969 (changed to
general secretary in 1971) and president of Czechoslovakia in
1975. Other parties and organizations exist but function in
subordinate roles to KSC. All political parties, as well as
numerous mass organizations, grouped under umbrella of National
Front of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic. Human rights
activists and religious activists severely repressed.
Government: Government functioned under 1960
Constitution, which was substantially amended in 1968 and to
lesser extents in 1971, 1975, and 1978. 1968 amendments created
federal government structure, although subsequent amendments
greatly limited authority of Czech Socialist Republic and Slovak
Socialist Republic. Power of federal administration severely
limited by "shadow government" within KSC, which made all
important policy decisions.
Foreign Relations: Formal diplomatic relations with 135
nations in 1987. Czechoslovakia considered strong ally of Soviet
Union and closely followed Soviet lead in international affairs.
Relations with United States poor in 1987.
International Agreements and Memberships: Active
participant in Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (Comecon),
Warsaw Pact, United Nations and its specialized agencies, and
Movement of Nonaligned Nations; signatory of conference on
Security and Cooperation in Europe.
Data as of August 1987