President Josip Tito of Yugoslavia has led the funeral services for his closest aide, Edvard Kardelj, who died on Saturday (10 February), at the age of 69.
President Josip Tito of Yugoslavia has led the funeral services for his closest aide, Edvard Kardelj, who died on Saturday (10 February), at the age of 69. The death of Mr Kardelj has increased speculation about what form the leadership will take, considering that President Tito is now 86.
SYNOPSIS: President Tito returned to Yugoslavia on Monday (12 February), cutting short by two days his Middle East tour, which took him to Kuwait, Iraq, Syria and Jordan. It was a sad occasion, for President Tito. Mr Kardelj was the last major figure still at the President's side from the days of the President's partisan struggle against Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy during World War Two.
Most of the President's close wartime associates have either died, gone into semi-retirement, or been politically disgraced. Mr Kardelj's fatal illness removed the man who had been thought most likely to succeed President Tito.
President Tito has refused to designate a successor. Well before Mr Kardelj died, there were signs of growing strain and manoeuvring within the Yugoslav Communist Party, although President Tito's authority is considered beyond question. It's understood the main contenders are Mr Stane Dolanc and Mr Branko Mikulic, the secretary and presiding member of the twenty-four man joint Presidency.