The Czechoslovak coup d'état took place in February 1948. The free plurality of political parties was forcibly repressed under the leadership of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (KSČ) increasing the influence of the   Soviet Union (SSSR). Czechoslovakia thus moved from democracy to totalitarianism initiating a period of cultural and economic decline. Dissenters of the regime were imprisoned and executed. The Communists officially referred to the February Coup as the “Victory of the Czechoslovak Working People”. The first “worker” President became the chairman of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia and the prime minister at the time Klement Gottwald (1896-1953; President 1948-53)