Ranković, Aleksandar älĕksän´där ränkōvĭ´tyə [key], 1909–83, Yugoslav political leader. A Serbian, he joined the Yugoslav Communist party in 1928 and later became (1937) a member of its central committee. In World War II, Ranković was active in the resistance. After the war, he was minister of the interior, heading the military and secret police. From 1948 to 1966 he also held the second highest post in the executive branch of the Yugoslav government, with the title of vice president of the republic from 1963 to 1966. Regarded as a possible successor to Josip Broz Tito, Ranković was accused in 1966 of abusing his position in the state security service and was deprived of his offices and expelled from the Yugoslav Communist party.
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