||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (July 2010)|
|Josip Manolić in 2008|
|2nd[a] Prime Minister of Croatia|
24 August 1990 – 17 July 1991
|Preceded by||Stjepan Mesić|
|Succeeded by||Franjo Gregurić|
|1st Speaker of the Chamber of Counties of Croatia|
22 March 1993 – 23 May 1994
|Preceded by||Post established|
|Succeeded by||Katica Ivanišević|
22 March 1920 |
Kalinovac, Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes
|Political party||Croatian Independent Democrats|
|League of Communists of Yugoslavia (until 1989)
Croatian Democratic Union (1989-1994)
|Battles/wars||World War II in Yugoslavia|
|^a Counting from the 1990 Croatian parliamentary election. 14th Croatian prime minister overall.|
Background and political career
||This section of a biography of a living person does not include any references or sources. (July 2010)|
Manolić was born in Kalinovac near Đurđevac. In his youth during World War II, he joined the Communist Party of Yugoslavia and the Partisans. After the war, he became a high-ranking official of OZNA, and later UDBA. One of his duties was to supervise all political prisons in Croatia.
His status was confirmed on 24 August 1990 when he became prime minister, following the departure of Stjepan Mesić, who had left that post in order to serve as the Croatian representative in the Yugoslav collective Presidency. His cabinet was mostly preoccupied with the process that would ultimately lead to Croatia's declaration of independence on 25 June 1991, as well as the rebellion of ethnic Serbs in Krajina.
When Manolić left the office on 17 July 1991 Croatian forces — police and nascent military — were involved in full-scale war with Krajina rebels, who were backed by the Yugoslav federal army. He took another, even more important post of the head of Constitutional Order Protection Office (Ured za zaštitu ustavnog poretka), a body that would coordinate and supervise all Croatian security services. There he built Tuđman's security apparatus, relying mostly on the old cadre from UDBA and other sections of the Communist-era security apparatus. Despite the nature of his work, he remained very much in the public spotlight. In his interviews and statements he gradually gained a reputation of being a moderate. His enormous power, moderate views and Partisan past made him very unpopular among the rank and file of the HDZ party and brought him into conflict with Gojko Šušak, the powerful minister of defence who led a hardline nationalist faction.
In 1993 Manolić was replaced from his post and elected as Speaker of the Chamber of Counties of Croatia (to 1994). Many saw this as his demotion and fall from Tuđman's favor.
One year later Manolić and Mesić tried to organise a mass defection of HDZ members of Sabor and thus deprive Franjo Tuđman of parliamentary majority. They failed and later, together with other HDZ dissidents, created a new party called Croatian Independent Democrats (HND).
Manolic's attempt to take power on national level failed, but his supporters in the Zagreb County Assembly succeeded in replacing HDZ administration. This led Tuđman to introduce new legislation, merging Zagreb County and the City of Zagreb and calling for new elections, which ultimately resulted in the Zagreb Crisis.
Those elections coincided with the 1995 parliamentary elections, during which HND fared badly, failing to enter Sabor. This prompted Mesić to join the Croatian People's Party, while Manolić tried to mend ties with his former party, becoming a marginalised political figure in the process.