Presidential Election in Croatia, 5 January, 2020

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Summary: After a vote on 22 December, 2019 failed to produce a clear winner in Croatia's 2019 Presidential elections, a runoff was held on 5 January 2020 resulting in the election of Social Democrat Zoran Milanovic.

Further Information: The Former Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic, a centre-left Social Democrat who previously governed from 2011-2016 during the economic crisis, returned to power as Croatia's president in the runoff election on January 5th.

Milanovic branded himself as the consensus candidate, arguing that Croatia should be 'united in (our) differences' and arguing that 'Normally, wars are over.' (An oblique reference to continued tensions resulting from the 1990's war in the Balkans.)

The incumbent, President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, a centre right member of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) party, ran a campaign promoting 'real Croatia' while focusing on unity, patriotism, and with frequent references to the war in the 1990's.

Neither candidate won a majority in the December 22nd presidential election, requiring a runoff on January 5th which Mr. Milanovic won 53%-47%.

Mr. Milanovic's win came at the same time that Croatia was rotated in as president of the European Commission, granting higher status to the Adriatic state which joined the E.U. in 2013.

Related Links
Commentary and Analysis
International Politics and Society, 10/01/2020, A Normal President for Croatia?

BalkanInsight, 22/12/2019 Leftist ex-PM Leads Narrowly in Croatian Presidential Election
France24, 05/01/2020, Leftist former PM Milanovic wins Croatia Presidential Election
The Dubrovnik Times, 22/01/2020, Payout for Croatian Presidential Candidates
The BBC, 06/01/2020 Croatia elects centre-left challenger Zoran Milanovic as President

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