After 99.98% of all votes had been counted, preliminary results had Grabar Kitarović (46) in the lead with 50.74% of the votes, with incumbent Ivo Josipović behind with 49.26% of votes. Grabar Kitarović, who until a few months ago was the assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy at NATO and is a former Foreign Affairs Minister for Croatia, was once again was popular with those living outside of Croatia, winning over 90% of the diaspora vote. 58.91% of all eligible voters turned out to vote on Sunday. With a number of votes from abroad still to be counted, official results are expected in on Monday morning, but Josipović had already conceded defeat.
“Congratulations to Kolinda Grabar Kitarović on becoming the new president of Croatia. She won in a fair and democratic vote,” said Josipović.
“Solving the economic crisis is the absolute priority of my programme. I will especially stimulate entrepreneurship and investment as a prerequisite to increase employment. We all deserve a better Croatia. I will work in the interest of all Croatian citizens. I will not shirk responsibilities. I will be your President ” Grabar Kitarović said during her campaign.
“From tonight we will work to make Croatia a better homeland. I will not let anyone say that Croatia will not be prosperous. We will be among the most developed and prosperous nations in Europe. I want to thank everyone who had faith in me. Lets all work together for a better Croatia,” said Grabar Kitarović on Sunday night.
Grabar Kitarović was born in Rijeka, Croatia before moving to the United States for part of her childhood. After graduating from Los Alamos High School in Los Alamos, New Mexico, she then attended the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb, graduating in the study of English and Spanish language in 1992. Later she obtained a master’s degree in international relations from the Faculty of Political Science at the University of Zagreb. After heading the North American department of the foreign ministry, and working as a diplomatic councilor at the Croatian embassy in Canada, she was elected to the Croatian parliament and eventually became the Minister of Foreign Affairs.