Czechoslovakia’s last prime minister passed away at the age of 78 on Nov. 6 in a Prague retirement home. Jan Stráský was prime minister of the Czechoslovak government from July 1992 to the end of the year, holding office less than a year as he presided over the dissolution of Czechoslovakia.
Stráský became prime minister of the federal government in July 1992 and held this post till the end of 1992.
Before the Velvet Revolution in 1989, Stráský worked as an official in the State Bank of Czechoslovakia, where he met Václav Klaus in the early 1970s. Later, Klaus greatly influenced his career.
“We shared the office for two years. We were the same age, we had similar interests,” Stráský said, recalling the time he became acquainted with the future prominent figure of Czechia’s post-Revolution politics.
Although Jiří Stráský was a member of the Communist Party, he left the party in 1969. At that end of the 1980s, he was already convinced that the Communist regime was on the verge of collapse. After 1985, he also became involved with the Czechoslovak dissent movement.
In May 1991, he was appointed deputy prime minister and was put in charge of economic reform. The prime of his career in politics came after the general elections in June 1992, in which he was elected a member of the Chamber of Deputies.
In July 1992, he accepted the post of prime minister of Czechoslovakia.
“It was a difficult six-month period,” commented Stráský. Whlie serving as prime minister, Stráský oversaw the dissolution of Czechoslovakia. In this context, the president at the time, Václav Havel, had to resign, and Stráský took over some presidential responsibilities.
After the dissolution of Czechoslovakia, Stráský became Minister of Transport and later Minister of Health in the Czech government. He was also one of the co-founders of the Civic Democratic Party (ODS). Strásky ended his career in politics in 1997 when the ODS was experiencing internal party disputes.
After leaving politics, he headed the Šumava National Park, located in the south of the Czech Republic.