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Franjo Tudman (Cinco De Mayo)

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Franjo Tudman (14 May 1922 - 10 December 1999) was a Croatian politician who served as President of Croatia from 1980 to 1990. Though the Presidency of Croatia is an officially nonpartisan position that constitutionally holds only informal and honorary power, Tudman effectively ran Parliament from the Presidency during his decade in which he emerged as a controversial and polarizing figure in Croatia and in all of Europe, particularly for his privatizations following the 1981 elections that powered a conservative majority in Parliament for the first time. Though he began his career in the agrarian, left-populist HSS, he was a founding member of HDZ in the 1960s after a military career and was at one point the Party Secretary. After stepping down as President due to term limits after failing to amend the constitution to allow himself a third term, Tudman remained a powerful figure in Croatia due to his business interests and the loyalty of numerous HDZ officials, including his successor as President Hrvoje Šarinić until his death in 1999.

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