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Croatia: Prime Minister Racan Resigns

Zagreb, 5 July 2002 (RFE/RL) -- Croatian Prime Minister Ivica Racan resigned today following a rift between the two main coalition partners within the fragile ruling coalition. Racan stepped down at a final meeting of his 30-month-old, five-party cabinet, which was blocked by infighting for most of this year. The move was announced earlier this week.

Racan's cabinet has been plagued by a growing rift between him and Drazen Budisa, the leader of the second biggest party in a five-party coalition that has held power since January 2000. Differences widened on 3 July when Budisa's Social Liberal party refused to give parliamentary support to a deal on sharing ownership of a nuclear power plant with neighboring Slovenia.

Analysts, diplomats, and sources says they expect Mesic to reappoint Racan and then the Croatian president will ask Racan to form a new government. Racan would have 30 days to propose a new cabinet to parliament.