Croatia Transition

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In May 1990, the first multi-party elections were held in Croatia and were won by the Croat-nationalist party of Franjo Tudjman. The Croatian Democratic Union, HDZ, was therefore the first regime given control of the newly independent Croatia. Under Tudjman’s administration, ethnic war caused Croatia to take a large step back and instead of focusing on further democratizing the country; Tudjman was forced to pivot his attention to the Homeland War efforts. The Serb population of Croatia began to rebel in 1990, and according to Croatian lecturer Pero Maldini, they began blocking the roads and later expelling the Croatian and other non-Serb population before turning to direct violence. This Serb rebellion was initiated by the Greater…show more content…
It set the tone for future policies and regimes needed to push the country further towards democratization. By 1992, Tudjman was forced to form the Croat army in an effort to defend the state from aggression. The Croat army was successful in fighting some of the aggression along with the help from UN peacekeeping forces. In May and August 1995, the military operations “Flash” and “Storm” helped liberate the most occupied areas in the state. These operations marked the Croatian victory of its aggressors and the official end to the war. Operation Oluja or more commonly known as “Storm” was the last major battle of the Croatian War of Independence and Marcus Tanner claims, “Operation Oluja marked the apotheosis of Tudjman’s presidency. It was as if all his energy and concentration had been fixed on the goal of securing Croatia’s independence over all the territory it had been accorded by the post-Second World War arrangement in Yugoslavia.” Here we can observe that Tudjman’s main goal at the time was to make Croatia a truly independent state and this was his way of further democratizing the country. However, Tudjman’s efforts weren’t really beneficial for aiding democracy according to Pero Maldini, “The length of the war, its vast material destruction and the suffering of numerous citizens had substantially slowed down, and in some cases even completely impeded democratization processes.” The
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