World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article
 

Civic Forum

The Civic Forum (Czech: Občanské fórum, OF) was a political movement in the Czech part of Czechoslovakia, established during the Velvet Revolution in 1989. The corresponding movement in Slovakia was called Public Against Violence (Slovak: Verejnosť proti násiliu - VPN).

The Civic Forum's purpose was to unify the dissident forces in Czechoslovakia and to overthrow the Communist regime. In this, they succeeded when the Communists gave up power in November 1989 after only 10 days of protests. Playwright Václav Havel, its leader and founder, was elected president on December 29, 1989. Although the Forum did not have a clear political strategy beyond the June 1990 elections, it campaigned successfully in March and April 1990 during the first free elections in Czechoslovakia since 1946. Those elections garnered Civic Forum 36 percent of the vote, the highest that a Czechoslovakian party ever obtained in a free election. This netted it 68 seats in the Chamber of Deputies; combined with Public Against Violence's 19 seats, it commanded a strong majority.

The Civic Forum had a very loose structure, and most of its (self-appointed) leaders came from Václav Klaus was elected its new chairman. Klaus's policies were opposed by other leading figures within the Forum and party unity soon vanished.

At the Civic Forum congress in January 1991, the movement divided. The more conservative members, led by Klaus, declared that they would form an independent party, the Civic Democratic Party (Občanská demokratická strana), with a clearer program advocating a free market. The party elected Klaus as its chairman in February 1991. The more liberal members of Civic Forum, led by federal minister of foreign affairs Jiří Dienstbier, formed the Civic Movement (Občanské hnutí). Klaus stated that the two parties would rule as a coalition until the 1992 elections. However, by July 1991 Klaus declared the inter-party cooperation over. The Civic Democratic Party was victorious in the elections of 1992 while the Civic Movement failed to reach the 5% threshold to enter parliament and eventually disappeared.

References

  • Timothy Garton Ash, We the People: The Revolution of ’89, Witnessed in Warsaw, Budapest, Berlin and Prague (Cambridge 1990).
  • Bernard Wheaton and Zdeněk Kavan, The Velvet Revolution: Czechoslovakia, 1988-1991 (Boulder 1992).
  • Paal Sigurd Hilde, "Slovak Nationalism and the Break-Up of Czechoslovakia." Europe-Asia Studies, Vol. 51, No. 4 (Jun., 1999): 647-665.
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 



Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.