Opposed to the moderates were the so-called hardliners:
- Vasil Biľak was their leader and a Ukrainian from Slovakia who had been a member of the Presidium since 1968 and was Chairman of the party's Ideological Commission
- Karel Hoffman, a Central Committee Secretary and Presidium member;
- Antonín Kapek, Presidium member;
- Jan Fojtík, Secretary;
- Alois Indra, Presidium member and Chairman of the Federal Assembly (replaced the National Assembly under 1968 federation law); and
- Miloš Jakeš, Chairman of the Central Supervisory and Auditing Commission and Presidium member (replaced Gustáv Husák as general secretary of the KSČ in 1987).
These hardliners opposed economic and political reforms and took a harsh stand on dissent.
The party's hegemony ended with the Velvet Revolution in 1989. In November, Jakeš and the entire Presidum resigned. Jakeš was succeeded by Karel Urbanek, who only held power for about a month before the party formally abandoned power in December. Later that month, Husák, who retained the presidency after standing down as general secretary, was forced to swear in the country's first non-Communist government in 41 years.
The party continued to exist for another three years, changing its official abbreviation to KSČS. The party dissolved after Czechoslovakia ceased to exist on 31 December 1992. This led to the formation of successor parties in both the Czech Republic and Slovakia (see Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia and Communist Party of Slovakia).
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