MADRID - Manuel Fraga , a political survivor from Spain's right-wing dictatorship , was a key player in the country's transition to democracy in the 1970s and went on to help found the ruling conservative party .
He died on Sunday of a heart attack after respiratory problems , state media said. He was 89.
Fraga sat in the cabinet of General Francisco Franco, but went on to help draft the constitution that turned Spain into a constitutional monarchy after Franco's death in 1975.
Having survived the transition to democracy, Fraga ruled his home region of Galicia in northern Spain for 16 years until the age of 82. He served as senator for six more years before retiring in September 2011.