Happy Birthday! Josip Manolic Celebrates 103rd Birthday

Lauren Simmonds

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As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the legendary Josip Manolic, former Croatian Prime Minister and one of the most famous retirees in Croatian history, turned 103 years old today.

Manolic was born in was born on the 22nd of March, 1920, in Kalinovac near Djurdjevac. He began to engage in politics in 1937, and the following year, he became a youth and trade union leader. During the Second World War, he became the organisational secretary of the PK SKOJ for Croatia. In 1944, according to the organisation of the UN, he was sent as the commander-in-chief to the operation to liberate Bjelovar and its surroundings.

In 1946, Josip Manolic lived and worked in Zagreb as the head of the department for the execution of criminal sanctions in the then Secretariat for Internal Affairs. In 1948, he became the head of the Secretariat of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Croatia. In 1960, he graduated from the Faculty of Law in Zagreb, and in that same year he became the head of the SUP (Secretariat of Internal Affairs) of the SFRY.

In 1965, he was elected to the Parliament of the SR of Croatia and held the positions of president of the organisational-political committee, president of the legislative-legal commission, and was also a member of the Constitutional Commission. By the time 1969 rolled around, he had been elected to the Parliament of the SR of Croatia for the second time. After the damous Croatian Spring (Hrvatsko proljece), he became a dissident and became acquainted with Dr. Franjo Tudjman.

He is one of the founders of HDZ, and in 1990, he became the vice-president of the Presidency of the Republic of Croatia. In the early 1990s, he was the second man in the newly created Republic of Croatia, next to Dr. Franjo Tudjman, with whom he had become a very close associate. From August the 24th, 1990 to July the 17th, 1991, he held the office of Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia, succeeding Stipe Mesic in that position, because the latter was elected as the Croatian member of the Presidency of the SFRY.

Since 1991, he had been the head of the Office for the Protection of the Constitutional Order (a body that coordinated all secret services). From 1993 to 1994, he held the position of President of the County House of the Parliament of the Republic of Croatia.

In 1994, Josip Manolic left HDZ due to disagreements about its policy towards neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina. In 1995, he founded his party, the Croatian Independent Democrats (HND), whose president he became the following year.

He is currently enjoying retirement after an extremely full and eventful life.

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