One of the builders of Spanish democracy dies

27th July 2007, Comments 0 comments

Gabriel Cisneros has died from a serious illness.

27 July 2007

MADRID – One of the Spaniards who penned the country’s first democratic constitution after the death of dictator Franco has died aged 66, the parliament announced on Friday.

Gabriel Cisneros, a member of the conservative PP party and the third vice-chairman of the Congress, died from a serious illness, said sources at the parliament.

Conservative opposite leader Mariano Rajoy praised Cisneros for being “an extraordinary politician” and for his contribution to the 1978 Constitution which created the democratic rules by which Spain lives today.

The socialist party also expressed its condolences. “He contributed in an important way to the consolidation of our democratic system”, said the party in a statement.

Cisneros was one of seven politicians charged with rewriting the Magna Carta in 1978 for the newly democratic Spain. He also helped develop the Basque statute and several other institutional laws.

In 1979, Basque separatist band ETA almost kidnapped him but he managed to fight off two ETA members to escape.

They shot him in the stomach and in the leg, but he survived and continued to serve for the Central Democratic Union (UCD) until joining the PP party in 1989.

Over the years, he has been an MP and held a number of key posts, including helping create the EU’s Declaration of Human Rights.

The last time Cisneros was in parliament was last month at a ceremony to mark the 30th anniversary of the first democratic elections after the dictatorship.

At the ceremony, King Juan Carlos had praised the key players in Spain's democratic transition following Franco's 1939-1975 dictatorship. He said the legacy they left "has allowed us to avoid harsh and sterile confrontations in the normal development of our political life."

(Copyright EFE with Expatica)

Subject: Spanish News

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