Since the overwhelming defeat of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) in the parliamentary and presidential elections of early 2000, many observers have expressed new hope for Croatia’s democratisation. Ruling the country without coalition partners for nearly ten years, HDZ supported a number of controversial ideas and policies and hindered the development of civil society. The death of former President Franjo Tudjman in December 1999 and the creation of an HDZ splinter party in March 2000 have contributed to a sharp drop in public support for HDZ. As the centre-left ruling coalition has struggled with political and economic reforms since the elections, it has had the advantage of being confronted with a relatively weak and fragmented political opposition. Despite being in such an enviable position, the government has sometimes been obstructed in its work by the activities of an untraditional element of civil society: the veterans’ organisations that arose from Croatia’s 1991-5 war for independence.