A law confirming former Czech President Vaclav Havel’s role in the country’s modern history has come into force after being signed by President Vaclav Klaus, presidential spokesman Radim Ochvat said.
Havel, one of the leading anti-Communist dissidents of the 1970s and 1980s who became the first post-communist president of Czechoslovakia and later the Czech Republic, died on December 18, 2011, at the age of 75.
Klaus signed the bill stating that “Vaclav Havel served freedom and democracy” into law on Friday, Ochvat told RIA Novosti.
All Czech political parties except Communists have backed the law.
Havel first came to international fame as a dissident playwright in the 1970s. He spent four and a half years in prison for opposing Czechslovakia's Communist government before emerging as a leader of the nonviolent Velvet Revolution that swept it aside in 1989.
Havel was his country's first democratically elected president after the Velvet Revolution. As president, he oversaw the country's transition to democracy and a free-market economy, as well as its peaceful 1993 breakup into the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
The late president became the fourth statesman in the two nations’ history to be honored in a special law, alongside the first Czechoslovak president, Tomas Garrigue Masaryk, his successor, Edvard Benea, and military leader Milan Rastislav Stefanik.