1The Czechoslovak federal parliament was designed in 1968 to replace the National Assembly of a unitary state and thus formally express equality between Czechs and Slovaks in the newly established federation. After the crash of the Prague Spring reforms, the socialist parliament lost most of its sovereignty, while preserving its federal character and formal procedures, thus providing a sort of “backup” legislature. The Velvet Revolution of 1989, with its proclaimed respect to peace and legality, logically found the ancient régime’s parliament in the centre of new politics. In the revolutionary parliament of 1989-1990, the concept of socialist parliamentarianism began to clash with new motives, such as the national unity, a break with the Communist past, liberal democracy, or subsidiarity. Various blends of socialist, revolutionary and liberal democratic views of the parliament consequently came to life, while each of these concepts as well as every practical policy was perceived and accepted in conflicting manners by the Czech and Slovak publics as well as political representations. Some of these differences turned out to be irreconcilable and the federal parliament eventually played a key role in administering the break-up of Czechoslovak federation in 1992.

2Keywords: Czechoslovakia 1989-1992, Parliamentarism, Federal systems of government, Post-Communist transition, Break-up of Czechoslovakia