Ljubo Ćesić (born 20 February 1958), best known by his nickname Rojs, is a Croatian retired general and politician.
Military service[edit | edit source]
A native of Herzegovina, Ljubo Ćesić came to public spotlight during the 1990s wars in Croatia (Croatian war of independence and Bosnia-Herzegovina) as the commander of the 66th Engineering Regiment of the Croatian Army. His unit built mountain roads on the border between the two countries, which ultimately allowed Croatian Army to outflank Krajina and Bosnian Serb forces during and after Operation Storm in 1995. For his exploits, Ćesić was promoted to the rank of general.
His critics often point out the fact that before the war, he was a bus driver, becoming the official driver of the minister of defence Gojko Šušak in 1991, following which he was given a military command despite lack of qualification.
Post-war[edit | edit source]
His post-war activities like the use of his unit for civilian contracts and the alleged breach of labour and other laws didn't prevent Ćesić from rising just as quickly in the ranks of the Croatian Democratic Union. In the late 1990s he was one of the most recognisable, most outspoken, most hardline and ultimately most controversial high-level members of that party.
He was also involved in several scandals concerning the funding of a Zagreb football club, Hrvatski Dragovoljac. He was accused of laundering several million kuna of Croatia's Defence Ministry along with his close friend Stjepan Spajić through the club by purchasing several million plastic cups. The allegations are not being investigated as Spajić died in 2004.
Political activities[edit | edit source]
In the early 2000s while a member of Sabor he began to gradually distance himself from Ivo Sanader and the new centrist course of HDZ. He nevertheless formally remained in the party, while he kept himself in the public spotlight with a series of statements that were as colorful as they were controversial. One example was his public offer to George W. Bush to volunteer in the 2003 invasion of Iraq. One of his controversial public appearances was a fight with fellow Sabor member Dino Debeljuh, which ended with Ljubo Ćesić's exclusion from that day's Sabor's session.
In the 2005 Croatian presidential election he ran as an independent candidate. During the campaign he claimed to be in contact with the renegade general Ante Gotovina. A subsequent police inquiry into that statement was ultimately inconsequential. Ćesić finished 6th in the first round with 1.85% of the votes cast.
After his self-styled successful political career he started appearing in numerous comedy shows on Croatian television such as Robert Knjaz's Mjenjačnica, in which two or more celebrities exchange lives with each other for a brief period of time. In the episode where he appeared, his companion was Croatia's most famous and controversial stylist Neven Ciganović.
Medals[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
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