Spain's politicians are gathering at Parliament to pay their last respects to Adolfo Suarez, Spain's first democratically elected prime minister following decades of right-wing rule under Gen. Francisco Franco.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and other current and former political leaders stood outside the parliament building on Monday as the coffin carrying Suarez's body was carried in by soldiers to a slow and solemn drum beat.

His body is to lie in state for 24 hours.

Suarez, who was seen as one the key architects of Spain's transition from dictatorship to democracy in the 1970s, died Sunday in a hospital in Madrid. He was 81. He had had Alzheimer's disease for a decade.

Flags across the country were at half-staff as Spain declared three days of mourning.