Home Tags Posts tagged with "Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic"

Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic

Croatian opposition challenger Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic has become the country’s first female president, winning by the narrowest of margins.

Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic secured 50.5% of the vote with 99% of ballots counted, while incumbent Ivo Josipovic was close behind on 49.5%.

IvoJosipovic has conceded defeat and congratulated his opponent.

Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic’s win is a sign that Croatia may be shifting to the right after the centre-left coalition’s failure to end six years of downturn.

The election was seen as a key test for the main parties ahead of parliamentary elections expected to be held towards the end of 2015.

The gap between the two candidates remained at about one percentage point throughout much of the second round.Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic becomes Croatia’s first female president

Turnout was 58.9% – some 12% more than in the first round held two weeks ago, which was equally close.

Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, 46, is a politically conservative member of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), which pushed the country towards independence from the former Yugoslavia in 1991.

She is a former foreign minister and assistant to the NATO secretary general.

“I will not let anyone tell me that Croatia will not be prosperous and wealthy,” Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic told jubilant supporters in the capital Zagreb, calling for national unity to tackle the economic crisis.

Ivo Josipovic, a 57-year-old law expert and classical composer, had been president since 2010.

He had been so popular for so long that it seemed impossible he could fail in a bid for re-election.

His problem was that he was backed by the governing, centre-left coalition that has failed to pull Croatia out of a six-year-long recession.

PM Zoran Milanovic apologized for being a “burden” to the outgoing president. His government may also pay the price in elections later this year.

Croatia, which became the newest member of the European Union when it joined in July 2013, has an unemployment rate close to 20%.

The Croatian president has a say in foreign policy and is head of the army, but running the country is primarily left to the government.

[youtube 1rrfMS5bYCg 650]

Croatia is voting to elect a new president, with the poll seen as a test for the main political parties.

The incumbent, Ivo Josipovic, is one of four candidates. He was nominated by the governing coalition.

The other three are Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, from the main opposition party, right-winger Milan Kujundzic and activist Ivan Vilibor Sincic.

Croatia’s president has a largely ceremonial role, but has a say in foreign policy and is head of the army.

The country is the newest member of the European Union, joining in July 2013.Croatia presidential elections 2014 candidates

Croatia’s economy has struggled, and is now entering its sixth year of recession. Parliamentary elections are expected to be held towards the end of 2015.

If none of the four candidates wins more than 50% of the vote, there will be a runoff in two weeks time.

The Public Administration Ministry said on December 26 that 3,779,281 voters are eligible to vote at the presidential election.

Voters will be able to cast their ballots in Croatia or at polling stations in 50 other countries.