(1932-) Spanish politician, prime minister 1976–81. A friend of King Juan Carlos, he was appointed by the king to guide Spain into democracy after the death of the fascist dictator Franco.
Following a career in the National Movement that spanned 18 years, Suárez was made prime minister by the king 1976. He called and won the first free elections in Spain for more than 40 years as leader of the Union of the Democratic Center (UCD) 1977. He resigned the premiership 1981, and in the following year founded the Democratic and Social Center party (CDS).