Czechoslovakia was founded in 1918 and occupied by Germany in 1939, although it continued to keep a de jure existence. In 1946, at the first (and last) free post-Second World War election for over forty years, the Communist Party emerged as the strongest party in the country. After the communist takeover in February 1948 the communist-led government established the Czechoslovak People's Republic and aligned itself to the Soviet Union.
The first free election since 1946 was held in June 1990. It was based on proportional representation, with a 5 per cent threshold. The parliamentary term was to be four years, but it was agreed to limit the first electoral period to two years during which new federal and republican constitutions would be drafted and the party system become consolidated.
Voter turnout in the first national elections was extremely high. In the Czech Republic, 96.7 per cent of the population voted for 16 parties and movements which competed for 75 seats in the Chamber of People and for 101 seats for the second Chamber of Nations in the Federal Assembly. The Civic Forum Alliance (OF), which consisted of several civil and political rights groups, came first with 53.1 per cent of the votes and 68 seats in the People's Chamber and 49.9 per cent of the votes and 50 seats in the Chamber of Nations; the communists came second with 14 per cent of the vote.
After the election, Calfa restructured his government. The Civic Forum (OF) had nine ministerial appointments out of sixteen, thus holding 56 per cent of the cabinet posts. Four ministerial posts went to the Slovakia counterpart of the OF, Public Against Violence (VPN). Overall, the coalition of OF and VPN held an absolute majority in the CSFR Federal Assembly and re-elected Václav Havel as president of the CSFR in July 1990.
In the election to the Czech National Council, held together with the federal elections, the Civic Forum (OF) obtained 49.5 per cent of the votes and 127 of the 200 seats in the Council. The new Czech cabinet, headed by