Josip Manolić in 2011
|Prime Minister of Croatia|
24 August 1990 – 17 July 1991
|Preceded by||Stjepan Mesić|
|Succeeded by||Franjo Gregurić|
|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)|
|Service/branch||Yugoslav Partisans OZNA|
|Commands||OZNA 2 in Bjelovar|
|Battles/wars||World War II in Yugoslavia|
Josip Manolić (pronounced [jǒsip mǎnolit͡ɕ]; born 22 March 1920) is a Croatian politician who was the 2nd Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia from 24 August 1990 to 17 July 1991. Taking office at age 70, he is the oldest person to serve as Prime Minister and is also, at the age of 97, the oldest living former Prime Minister of Croatia. Following his brief term as Prime Minister he served as the first Speaker of the Chamber of Counties from 1993 until 1994.
Background and political career
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.
In the aftermath of the Croatian Spring, Manolić was relieved of all duties and sent into retirement. He was one of the founders of the Croatian Democratic Union in 1989 and one of Franjo Tuđman's closest associates.
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), of which Manolić was the president in 1995.
Manolić'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. Since that time, Manolić has been retired from active politics. His autobiography, Politika i domovina – Moja borba za suverenu i socijalnu Hrvatsku, was published in 2015.
- "Josip Manolić". vecernji.hr (in Croatian). Retrieved 17 July 2016.
- "Executive Power:President of the Republic". Homepage of the Republic of Croatia. Croatian Academic and Research Network. Retrieved 19 July 2010.
- "Druga vlada" (in Croatian). Croatian Information-Documentation Referral Agency. Retrieved 10 December 2010.