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Illness could force Croatian opposition leader to step down


dpa German Press Agency
Published: Wednesday January 31, 2007


Zagreb- Ivica Racan, leader of the Social Democratic Party
of Croatia (SDP), said on Wednesday that he might leave politics
after being diagnosed with cancer.
The cancer, described as an "atypical tumour" in his right
shoulder, was uncovered in a check-up scheduled by the 63-year-old
politician after feeling pain from what he thought was a tennis-
related injury.

The leader of Croatia's strongest opposition party said he would
decide whether to step down from his political post after his
operation, expected to take place some time next week.

His deputy Zeljka Antunovic would head the party in Racan's
absence.

Racan was a leader of Croatia's communist party, reforming it into
the SDP after the collapse of Yugoslavia and fall of communism in the
early 1990s.

He also served as Croatian prime minister between 2000-2003.

© 2006 - dpa German Press Agency