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Controversial Croatian Arms Dealer to Run for Prime Minister

Controversial Croatian arms dealer Zvonko Zubak, who supplied the Croatian army with weapons during the war despite a UN embargo, has set up a new political party and set his sights on the post of prime minister, the HINA news agency reported Monday.

Zubak, 45, who has since moved from arms to oil trading, said he founded the Democratic Social Union (DSU) to "save the people from the poverty, social and moral misery into which the majority has sunk over the past decade because of irresponsible rulers."

Zubak, who was elected party head at the DSU's inaugural convention Sunday, said he had ambitions to become Croatia's prime minister in a general election to be held by the end of the year. He has pledged to bring Croatia into the EU and NATO, slow down the privatisation process of big state-owned firms and double workers' wages.

Zubak was the major supplier of weapons to the Croatian army throughout the 1991-95 war with Belgrade-backed Serb rebels, putting Zagreb in breach of a UN arms embargo on the former Yugoslav republic.

(IntelliNews 18.viii.03)

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