Former Spanish Prime Minister Adolfo Suarez, has died at 81.
Adolfo Suarez guided Spain through the turbulent years following the death of fascist dictator Francisco Franco.
The former prime minister was taken to hospital on Monday suffering from a respiratory infection.
King Juan Carlos turned to Adolfo Suarez upon General Francisco Franco’s death in 1975 to try to unite Spain’s disparate political factions.
Adolfo Suarez served as prime minister until 1981 and became one of the country’s most respected politicians.
He had been suffering from Alzheimer’s disease for about a decade, and died on Sunday afternoon at Madrid’s Centro Clinic hospital.
King Juan Carlos has paid tribute, calling Adolfo Suarez an exceptional colleague and a true friend.
In a televised message, King Juan Carlos said Adolfo Suarez had been “guided at every turn by his loyalty to the crown and all that it represents, the defense of democracy, the rule of law, unity and the diversity of Spain”.
Adolfo Suarez’s son, Adolfo Suarez Illana, praised both his father’s and the king’s role in the post-Franco period.