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2 Resignations Indicate Major Czech Shake-Up

Associated Press

In a major governmental shake-up today, Czechoslovak Premier Lubomir Strougal, who headed the federal government for more than 18 years, and Slovak Premier Peter Colotka resigned, the state news agency CTK reported.

The announcement was made by Communist Party chief Milos Jakes at a plenary session of the party’s Central Committee.

He said the resignations were accepted.

Strougal, believed to be the longest-serving premier in Europe, replaced Oldrich Cernik in January, 1970.

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Colotka had served as Slovak premier since May, 1969, and as Czechoslovak deputy premier since September, 1969.

Czechoslovakia consists of two republics of equal status, the Czech Socialist Republic and the Slovak Socialist Republic.

Each is governed by a National Council, which delegates to an overall Federal Assembly responsibility for constitutional and foreign affairs, defense and important economic decisions.

Similar Switches Elsewhere

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The primary source of power in Czechoslovakia is the Communist Party.

The shake-up in Czechoslovakia follows similar government reorganizations in the Soviet Union, Hungary and Poland.

In his speech to the session, Jakes also announced changes in the top-ruling Politburo, the party secretariat, the Central Committee and the federal, Czech and Slovak governments.

Jakes was quoted as saying the proposed changes “proceed from the need for a new deployment of leading cadres in the interest of mastering the demanding tasks of economic and social restructuring.”


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