Social Democrat wins Croatian presidency

Last Updated: Monday, January 11, 2010 - 11:16

Zagreb: Social Democrat Ivo Josipovic, who pledged to lead Croatia into the European Union and crack down on corruption, was elected president with over 60 percent of the vote, official results showed on Sunday.
After the results were announced, Josipovic told a crowd his supporters that he will work for a "just country" which honours European values.

"I want a European Croatia, a Croatia that will be one of the shining stars in the European sky, not only by EU membership but by values that we stand for -- democracy, freedom, human rights, rule of law, minority rights (and) religious freedom," Josipovic said.

He took 60.29 percent of the vote in Sunday`s run-off Presidential Election, while his rival, populist Zagreb Mayor Milan Bandic, garnered 39.71 percent, the official results from 99.62 percent of all polling stations showed.

Josipovic, a law professor and a classical music composer who has enjoyed an untarnished political career, reiterated his promise to lead an uncompromising fight against corruption.

"Every citizen of this country tonight is a winner since I deeply believe that we all want a better, a more just Croatia (...) We all want to live in a country where work gets paid and crime is punished, the country of social security and justice."

The fight against corruption is a key challenge if Croatia -- which joined NATO last year -- wants to succeed in its bid to join the European bloc and put the trauma of the war further behind it.

PTI



First Published: Monday, January 11, 2010 - 11:16

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