News 10 Dec 14

War Criminal Invited to Tudjman Commemoration

The opposition Croatian Democratic Union party invited Branimir Glavas, who is in jail in Bosnia, to events to mark the 15th anniversary of the death of former president Franjo Tudjman.

Sven Milekic
Franjo Tudjman. Photo: Croatian presidency.

The Croatian Democratic Union, HDZ on Wednesday invited all its founders including convicted war criminal Glavas to a series of events to commemorate the death of Tudjman in 1999.

Glavas is currently serving his sentence in Mostar prison in Bosnia and Herzegovina. He was sentenced to eight years in prison for the killings and torture of Serb civilians in the Croatian city of Osijek from 1991 to 1992.

Croatian newspaper Glas Slavonije reported that Glavas expressed regret that the invitation was not sent earlier so that “I could arrange my appearance through legal assistance between the two countries [Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina]”.

The HDZ will lay wreaths on Tudjman’s grave in the Mirogoj cemetery in Zagreb and at his birthplace in Veliko Trgovisce, a village some 40 kilometres from the capital. It will also hold a conference and a memorial ceremony at a church in Zagreb.

A survey to gauge public opinion of Tudjman in Croatia 15 years after his death has also been published by polling agency Ipsos Puls.

The survey said that 56 per cent of the 600 people surveyed see Tudjman as positive figure, 27 per cent believe he had both positive and negative aspects, while 14 per cent regard him as a negative figure. The remaining three per cent were not sure what they thought of him.

Sixty-nine per cent of respondents took a positive view of his role in the 1990s war.

Tudjman however received less positive assessments when it came to human rights and foreign policy. His worst results were for his role in the economy (only 33 per cent rated him positively) and the process of privatisation of public property (19 per cent positive).

Meanwhile the respondents were divided when it came to Tudjman’s governing style, with 47 per cent saying that he ruled democratically and 41 per cent saying his rule was autocratic.

Tudjman was the first president of independent Croatia, in power from the first elections in 1990 until his death in 1999.

One of the founders of the HDZ, which ran the country from 1990 until 2000, he remains a divisive figure in the country.

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