Tomislav Karamarko

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Tomislav Karamarko
20 obljetnica osnutka SJP Alfa Zagreb Tomislav Karamarko 03092011 304.jpg
Tomislav Karamarko during the 20th anniversary of the foundation of the Alfa Special Police Unit in 2011
Leader of the Opposition
Assumed office
21 May 2012
Prime Minister Zoran Milanović
Preceded by Jadranka Kosor
Member of Parliament
Assumed office
22 December 2011
Prime Minister Zoran Milanović
Constituency III electoral district
10th Minister of Interior of Croatia
In office
10 October 2008 – 23 December 2011
Prime Minister Ivo Sanader (until 2009)
Jadranka Kosor
Preceded by Berislav Rončević
Succeeded by Ranko Ostojić
4th President of the
Croatian Democratic Union
Assumed office
21 May 2012
Deputy Drago Prgomet
Preceded by Jadranka Kosor
Personal details
Born (1959-05-25) 25 May 1959 (age 56)
Zadar, PR Croatia, FPR Yugoslavia
Nationality Croat
Political party Croatian Democratic Union (2011-)
Spouse(s) Enisa Muftić (1993–2011)
Ana Šarić-Karamarko (2015-)
Children Lana
Residence Zagreb, Croatia
Alma mater University of Zagreb
Occupation Politician
Profession Historian
Cabinet Cabinet of Ivo Sanader II
Cabinet of Jadranka Kosor
Religion Roman Catholic
Website Official website

Tomislav Karamarko (pronounced [tǒmislaʋ karamǎːrko]; born 25 May 1959) is a Croatian politician who has been Leader of the Opposition in Croatia since 2012. He served in the government as Minister of Interior from 2008 to 2011.

Karamarko joined the Croatian Democratic Union in 1989 and in June 1991 he was named Chief of Cabinet of Josip Manolić, Prime Minister of Croatia. He continued to serve as Chief of Cabinet for Manolić's successor, Franjo Gregurić until September 1992 when he became Chief of Cabinet of the Speaker of the Croatian Parliament, Stjepan Mesić. A year later he became Director of the Zagreb Police Administration and in 1996 he was named Assistant Interior Minister. In 1998 he also became secretary of the Croatian Automobile Club.

During the 2000 presidential election he headed Stjepan Mesić's election campaign. Mesić won the election and later named Karamarko as his national security advisor and head of the National Security Office. In 2002 Karamarko was appointed director of the Counterintelligence Agency (POA) and in 2006 he was named director of the Security and Intelligence Agency (SOA).

In October 2008 Prime Minister Ivo Sanader named him Minister of the Interior and he remained in that post until December 2011 when HDZ was defeated in the 2011 general election. He acted as an independent minister until September 2011, when he joined HDZ for the second time.[clarification needed] In May 2012 he won the party election and became the fourth president of HDZ, succeeding former Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor.

Early life[edit]

Karamarko was born in the city of Zadar, Croatia (at the time People's Republic of Croatia, Yugoslavia). When he was five, he moved with his family to Zagreb.[1] Originally he is from Kruševo near Obrovac where he attended elementary school, and high school he attended in Zagreb. During his education in high school, Karamarko played a guitar and performed in Students' Home, where other popular bands also held concerts, among which Azra, Film, Idoli and others. As a youngster, Karamarko played basketball, and he almost started to join some basketball clubs; however, he chose education instead of sports.[2] In 1979 he enrolled at the University of Zagreb's Faculty of Law, but later dropped out and eventually switched to studying history at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in 1982, before graduating in 1985.[3]

According to Josip Manolić, to whom he was a chief of cabinet when Manolić become the Prime Minister, Karamarko worked for the State Security Administration (UDBA), the secret police of Yugoslavia. Manolić said that Karamarko worked for UDBA because he was blackmailed for he was involved in petty criminal activities.[4]

During his university days Karamarko was known as a shy student who only mingled with students hailing from Dalmatia or Herzegovina. As a twenty-year-old, Karamarko joined the Croatian Catholic Assembly Mi (We).[1] In 1982, Karamarko visited Vatican City with a group of his friends where they waved the Croatian flag. Because of that he was deprived from having a passport by communist authorities.[2][clarification needed] However, a journalist Željko Peratović, disputed that Karamarko was a Catholic dissident, instead claiming that UDBA helped him to find a job in the Croatian State Archives and finish his studies.[5]

In the 1980s Karamarko also met his future wife, Enisa Muftić, daughter of Osman Muftić, who later briefly served as minister of science in the Cabinet of Stjepan Mesić in 1990.[3] In 1987, with help from Catholic priests,[2] he employed in state archive as historian archivist and was assigned for capitulary deposit.[1]

Political career[edit]

In 1989, Karamarko was one of the founders of the Croatian Democratic Union in Zagreb.[1] In order to join the HDZ, he was assigned by Ivan Bobetko to unload the party's official newspaper Glasnik HDZ-a from a truck with his friends.[2] Before Franjo Tuđman was elected president, Karamarko supported presidency of Marko Veselica or Vlado Veselica. Soon, Karamarko met an influential HDZ member, Vice Vukojević who involved him in organization of the first HDZ's assembly. Karamarko's connections with HDZ helped him re-establish contact with people from his hometown, where he brought arms bought by Croatian emigres.[clarification needed] In 1991, after a shorter fight with the Army of Serb Krajina, Karamarko prepared housing for Croatian refugees, which increased his reputation among people from the Zadar area.[3]

On recommendation of Vukojević, who was at the time the assistant to Interior Minister and Josip Perković, assistant Defence Minister, on 17 June 1991, Karamarko was named chief of cabinet of Prime Minister Josip Manolić. Soon after Karamarko gained Manolić's confidence.[by whom?] Soon, Karamarko became friend with Stjepan Mesić. Manolić's successor, Franjo Gregurić, left Karamarko as his chief of cabinet.[3]

On 10 September 1992, when the Second Assembly of the Croatian Parliament was formed, Mesić, at the time Speaker of Parliament, named him chief of his cabinet. Karamarko remained Mesić's cabinet chief until 15 June 1993, when he was named chief of police in Zagreb. That year, he married his wife Enisa.[3]

From 1993 until 1996, Karamarko served as director of Zagreb Police Administration, and from 1996 to 1998 served as Assistant Minister of Internal Affairs. After he ended his career as assistant minister, he became secretary of the Croatian Automobile Club.[6]

During the 2000 presidential election Karamarko was chief of Mesić's election campaign.[6] Mesić, at the time member of the Croatian People's Party, won the election with 56% of votes in the second round against Dražen Budiša of the Croatian Social Liberal Party. After Mesić had won the election, Karamarko was named as his advisor for national security.[6]

He also served as the head of National Security Office (UNS) from 2000 to 2002,[7] as the head of Counterintelligence Agency (POA) from 2004 to 2006,[8] and as the head of Security and Intelligence Agency (SOA) from 2006 to 2008.[9]



  1. ^ a b c d "Biografija" (in Croatian). Tomislav Karamarko. Retrieved 21 May 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d Grubišić, Petar; Knežević, Velinka; Šunjerga, Marina (13 May 2012). "Karamarko: Ne tajim razvod! Kosor: Rado bih se zaljubila, ali...". Večernji list (in Croatian). Retrieved 21 May 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "Tomislav Karamarko – Biografija" (in Croatian). Retrieved 21 May 2012. 
  4. ^ 4 June 2015.
  5. ^ Peratović 17 May 2013.
  6. ^ a b c E., A. (21 May 2012). "Tko je Tomislav Karamarko?" (in Croatian). Dnevnik Nove TV. Retrieved 21 May 2012. 
  7. ^ "National Security Office".
  8. ^ "Counterintelligence Agency".
  9. ^ "Security and Intelligence Agency".

News reports[edit]