Croatia will go to the polls to elect its next President on 11 January, and there is only one real candidate threatening incumbent Ivo Josipović from winning another term. On Tuesday, via a live Facebook feed, Kolinda Grabar Kitarović presented her campaign programme…
Grabar Kitarović, who until a few months ago was the assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy at NATO and a former Foreign Affairs Minister for Croatia, began her address by outlining why she was standing in the presidential elections.
“The reason I am standing is because of the difficult economic, social and general situation in Croatia. Croatia is going in the wrong direction. Despite the crisis being the result of a global recession, Croatia is in a worse situation because of an incompetent government and President who in the last 5 years has done nothing to make life better in Croatia,” said Grabar Kitarović, adding that under her reign she would not allow an exodus of young people heading off abroad which is currently happening today.
Grabar Kitarović said her focus if elected would be improving the situation in Croatia which she detailed in a five-point plan in front of her supporters.
“Solving the economic crisis is the absolute priority of my programme. I will especially stimulate entrepreneurship and investment as a prerequisite to increase employment,” she said.
The second part of her programme, she says, will be creating social stability for a dignified life, with special protection for mothers, children and young people with special needs. The third part of her programme is national security and defence for a ‘safe and strong Croatia’, whilst the 46-year-old says that a stable, functioning justice system and zero tolerance for corruption are the fourth part of her programme, with foreign relations and international diplomacy number five on her programme titled ‘for a better Croatia’.
“Only together, as we were at the start of the 1990’s, can we build a better and successful Croatia. We don’t need new foundations, a new constitution, our foundations were built during the Homeland War and the nation which was created by Franjo Tuđman (Croatia’s 1st President). How will we remember Josipović after his mandate has ended? We will remember him as someone who never had a stance when he needed to have one,” said Grabar Kitarović.
“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,” concluded Grabar Kitarović.
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.