Czech Premier Resigns After Negotiations
Communists Continue Bargaining With Opposition Over New Government
PRAGUE, Czechoslovakia--Premier Ladislav Adamec resigned yesterday while still bargaining with a powerful opposition that demanded the communists form an acceptable government or suffer another general strike.
Adamec, 63, announced his resignation at a meeting with non-communist party officials about changes in the government, said Bohuslav Kucera of the Socialist Party. He quoted Adamec as saying a new, younger leader was needed to achieve a compromise.
President Gustav Husak asked Deputy Premier Marian Calfa, 43, to take over and continue searching for a solution, the official CTK news agency reported.
Calfa, a Communist, has attended most of Adamec's recent meetings with opposition leaders, who rejected the Cabinet he formed December 3.
Adamec had been expected to name a new government today that would share some power with the opposition, which in a few weeks has become strong enough to break the Communist Party's 41-year monopoly on power.
The Civic forum opposition movement and its Slovak counterpart, Public Against Violence, have threatened a nationwide general strike for Monday if a satisfactory government has not been formed.
Leaders of Civic Forum appeared on the main evening TV newscast with a list of names they had given Adamec as possible Cabinet members only hours before he resigned.
Zdenek Jicinsky, speaking for the opposition, said one proposal was that Slovak dissident Jan Carnogursky be made first deputy premier and other deputy premiers be named from the Socialist Party and the People's Party.
Civic Forum also proposed its current spokesperson, Jiri Dienstbier, as foreign minister and economist Vaclav Klaus, also a Civic Forum member, as finance minister.
Jicinsky said Petr Miller, a worker at the CKD industrial plant in Prague and senior Civic Forum representative, was suggested as social affairs minister.
There was no official reaction to the proposals.
The ruling Politburo stripped former party chief Milos Jakes and Miroslav Stepan, the former Prague party boss, of party membership yesterday, accusing them of "grave political mistakes in resolving social tensions."
Mentioned specifically was the brutal police action against peaceful protesters November 17, which started the mass protest that brought down the party. Action against those responsible for the brutality has been a key opposition demand.
Kucera said his Socialist Party, formally allied with the Communists but increasingly independent, hoped to have at least two ministers in the new government.
The Peoples' Party, another former Communist ally now asserting independence, has said it wants Calfa to form a government with half the ministries run by people who have no party affiliation.
It wants the other 50 percent divided among the Communists, itself, the Socialists and two small officially recognized parties in Slovakia, CTK reported.
Adamec left halfway through the two-hour meeting with other parties yesterday, striding grimly toward his official sedan in silence.
Party chief Karel Urbanek and several members of the ruling Politburo were present at the meeting in which Adamec resigned.
In a televised address Wednesday, Adamec had said he would quit if the opposition did not stop presenting "ultimatums."
Opposition leaders yesterday rejected charges that they had put Adamec under pressure to change the Communist-dominated Cabinet sworn in last Sunday. which they rejected because it included only five non-Communists.
They have said they want a new interim government to build the legal basis for parliamentary democracy and hold free elections by July.
On Monday, hundreds of thousands of people demonstrated in Prague and Bratislava, Czechoslovakia's two largest cities, against Adamec's new Cabinet. He reopened negotations with the opposition Tuesday.