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Stjepan Radić During a Parliament session in 1928, the Croatian Peasant Party's leader Stjepan Radić was mortally wounded by Puniša Račić, a deputy of the Serbian Radical People's Party, which caused further upsets among the Croatian elite.
In 1929, King Aleksandar proclaimed a dictatorship and imposed a new constitution which, among other things, renamed the country the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.
Political parties were banned from the start and the royal dictatorship took on an increasingly harsh character.
Vladko Maček, who had succeeded Radić as leader of the Croatian Peasant Party, the largest political party in Croatia, was imprisoned, and members of a newly emerging insurgent movement, the Ustaše, went into exile.
According to the British historian Misha Glenny the murder in March 1929 of Toni Schlegel, editor of a pro-Yugoslavian newspaper Novosti, brought a " furious response " from the regime.
In Lika and west Herzegovina in particular, which he described as " hotbeds of Croatian separatism ," he wrote that the majority-Serb police acted " with no restraining authority whatsoever.
" And in the words of a prominent Croatian writer, Shlegel's death became the pretext for terror in all forms.
Politics was soon " indistinguishable from gangsterism.
" Even in this oppressive climate, few rallied to the Ustaša cause and the movement was never able to organise within Croatia.
But its leaders did manage to convince the Communist Party that it was a progressive movement.
The party's newspaper Proleter ( December 1932 ) stated: " salute the Ustaša movement of the peasants of Lika and Dalmatia and fully support them.

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