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Torcuato Fernández Miranda


In office
December 20, 1973 – December 31, 1973
Vice President Torcuato Fernández Miranda
Preceded by Luis Carrero Blanco
Succeeded by Carlos Arias Navarro

In office
June 9, 1973 – December 31, 1974
President Luis Carrero Blanco
(1973)
Torcuato Fernández Miranda
(1973)
Preceded by Luis Carrero Blanco
Succeeded by José García Hernández

Born November 10, 1915(1915-11-10)
Gijon, Asturias, Spain
Died June 19, 1980 (aged 64)
Nationality Spain
Political party Movimiento Nacional

Don Torcuato Fernández Miranda y Hevia, 1st Duke of Fernandez Miranda Grandee of Spain, KOGF (10 November 1915 – 19 June 1980) was a Spanish lawyer and politician who played important roles in both the dictatorship of Francisco Franco and in the Spanish transition to democracy.

Fernández Miranda was born in Gijón, Asturias, on Spain's north coast, in 1915. He died in 1980 while traveling to London.

Contents

Franco regime

By the age of 30, Fernández Miranda had already served as a lieutenant for the Nationalists in the Spanish Civil War and begun a promising career as a law professor; that year, he earned a chair at the University of Oviedo, of which he would later serve as rector, 1951 to 1953.[1] He was destined to make his biggest impact in public service, however.

Franco chose him to serve as the government's Director-General of University Education in the mid-1950s, and gave him an even weightier assignment in 1960: Fernández Miranda was entrusted with the political education of Prince Juan Carlos, whom Franco had tapped to carry on his regime as King of Spain, after the dictator's death. After having endured years of military training, Juan Carlos credited Fernández Miranda with being the first of his tutors to teach him to rely on independent thinking.[1]

In the final years of the Franco regime—the dictator would die 20 November 1975 -- Fernández Miranda also played an important political role as a high-ranking member of the Movimiento Nacional (National Movement), the dictatorship's only legal political party. He served as interim Presidente del Gobierno (prime minister) for a few weeks in December 1973, after the assassination of Luis Carrero Blanco. He had been Carrero Blanco's principal deputy prime minister. Although Fernández Miranda was one of the top candidates to succeed Carrero Blanco, the job of prime minister—Franco's last, as it would turn out—went to Carlos Arias Navarro.

Leader in transition

Shortly after Franco's death, Juan Carlos was crowned king 22 November 1975. He retained Arias Navarro as prime minister but, in a nod to his political mentor, named Fernández Miranda speaker of the Cortes (the legislature) and president of the Consejo del Reino (Council of the Kingdom) in the transition government. In these roles, Fernández Miranda was able to push a willing king toward the development of a democracy.

Fernández Miranda sought to establish a two-party system, with one conservative party and one liberal party. He suggested legitimizing the suppressed PSOE (Spanish Socialist Workers' Party), which was leftist but anti-communist, for the liberal role.

Upon Arias Navarro's resignation in 1976, Spain was still operating under Francoist law; it was Fernández Miranda's job, as head of the Council of the Kingdom, to suggest three names to the king for a new political leader. He placed the reformist Adolfo Suárez on his list, despite Suárez' relative inexperience. Suárez was duly selected, and soon called for a political reform law, to be followed by democratic elections, Spain's first in 40 years.

The law professor Fernández Miranda, still serving as speaker of the Cortes, was the principal author of Suárez' Ley para la Reforma Política (Political Reform Law), approved by the Government in September 1976, by the Cortes in November 1976, and by a popular referendum 15 December 1976.

Democratic Spain

Although he played a large role in the transition to democracy, Fernández Miranda remained a political conservative. Following Suárez reforms with which he disagreed—such as the legalization of the Communist Party of Spain and increasing tolerance of decentralization -- the speaker resigned from the Cortes prior to the first election, 15 June 1977.

After the election, he was named by the king to the Spanish Senate, which now became the upper house of a bicameral Cortes. He served there for one term, representing the UCD, until 2 January 1979.[2] He was later named a Duke of Fernández Miranda Grandee of Spain on 31 May 1977, and, in 1977 or 1981[3] the 1,181st Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece.

Marriage and issue

He married in Gijón on 24 April 1946 María del Carmen Lozana Abeo and had issue:[4]

  • Don Enrique Fernández Miranda y Lozana (b. Gijón, 12 September 1949), 2nd Duke of Fernández Miranda Grandee of Spain on 3 November 1982, married on 12 May 1975 to María de los Reyes de Marcos y Sánchez (b. Madrid, 6 January 1955), and had issue:
    • Don Torcuato Enrique Fernández Miranda y de Marcos (b. 26 February 1983)
    • Don Alvaro Manuel Fernández Miranda y de Marcos (b. 23 August 1985)
  • Don Fernando Fernández Miranda y Lozana (b. Gijón, 20 January 1953), married to Ana Allendesalazar y Ruíz de Arana (b. Madrid, 27 July 1962), daughter of Carlos Allendesalazar y Travesedo (Madrid, 30 June 1923 - 24 March 1994), ?th Viscount of Tapia and a descendant of Maria Cristina of the Two Sicilies, and wife Ignacia Ruíz de Arana y Montalvo (Duesto, 11 August 1930 -), 14th Marchioness of Velada, and had issue:
    • Don Javier Fernández Miranda y Allendesalazar
    • Doña Clara Fernández Miranda y Allendesalazar

References

  1. ^ a b Preston, Paul. "Juan Carlos: Steering Spain from Dictatorship to Democracy." New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 2004. ISBN 0-393-05804-2.
  2. ^ Spanish: Senado.es: Torcuato Fernández Miranda y Hevia, accessed 28 April 2007.
  3. ^ Spanish: El Toisón de Oro en el siglo XXI, page 15, accessed 17 November 2006.
  4. ^ http://www.geneall.net/H/per_page.php?id=521077
Political offices
Preceded by
Luis Carrero Blanco
President of the Government of Spain (acting)
1973
Succeeded by
Carlos Arias Navarro
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