What Kind Of A President Does Croatia Need?

New presidential election in Croatia is fast approaching as 2014 slides into its second half. Articles published in Croatia’s leading newspaper Vecernji List on 7 June about three possible candidates (Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, Zeljka Markic and Ivo Josipovic/current incumbent) for 2015 elections can be taken as a kind of a voter crossroad, which leads the voters into serious thinking and consideration as to what kind of a presidential candidate they’ll vote for and who will lead them into the future.

I’m certain that the voters of Croatia are sick and tired of hearing about how Croatia is in a bad shape – especially economically, but also on politically still tangled questions dating to the 1990’s Homeland War as well as those that followed in the years after WWII, which polarise the Croatian people to the point of frequently visible unrests.

Hence, I am also certain that Croatian voters, besides hearing the public admissions from leading politicians, including future presidential candidates – e.g. Ivo Josipovic – that Croatia is in a bad shape, a difficult state, will also seek in their future president to show them why Croatia is in bad shape and how he/she intends to get them out of it. That is, or that should be the most important question a voter asks himself on the way to the polling booth, i.e. as he circles his preferred candidate on the ballot sheet. Voting is a deeply personal matter in a democracy; in a democracy “the recruitment” of votes along Party lines, if it occurs, should not make a decisive or significant impact if the voter turnout is significant. Croatian democracy is “an adult”, it has come “of age”, at least on paper. The possibility that the voters will this time, after more than two decades, transfer that “adult” democracy from paper into a physical deed when they turn up to vote in significant numbers warms the heart.

Regardless of limited powers of presidents they have unbelievably great powers. It’s like that in almost all democratic countries, and so too in Croatia, in which the powers of the Government are separated from those of a President. A great deal of presidential powers is informal, i.e. it is not written anywhere in the Constitution or the Laws of the country. When Theodore Roosevelt (US President 1901-1909) said that the presidential office provided him with a “bully pulpit”, a powerful platform from which he could draw attention to important issues, he was referring to the superb platform from which to advocate for agendas and, hence, the great importance of president’s informal powers.

Given that Croatia is a member state of the EU and, hence, in that it enjoys an internationally well-noticed spot from which it can be heard on economic and political issues, Croatia needs a president who will lead it successfully into the world in which trust and credibility are of the highest importance. Without those qualifications there are no foreign investments of note or affirmation of the political questions Croatia struggles with.

As we know, or as we should know, it’s not important to which political party or which citizen movements a presidential candidate belongs to or is inclined towards because the presidential function serves all equally. That which is important is the person filling the job of a president and the personal qualifications he/she brings to that job. Choosing a president for a country is no different to choosing the CEO of a large corporation or company. That if the practical and political reality of today’s fluidity in which private capital or investments do not recognise state borders but often look into who is leading a country. And so, a successful president must possess the characteristics of cooperation, compromise and negotiation, especially across the international scene.

Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic Photo:Pixsell

Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic

Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, with her solid experience and acquired knowledge of the international scene – in which she has always been recognised as a Croatian no matter where she was or what role she led – personifies the most successful candidate among the three possible candidates for the President of Croatia put forth for our consideration in the aforementioned Vecernji List articles.

Vecernji List journalist Jadranka Juresko-Kero, in her article about possible presidential candidates, emphasises as highly essential qualification Grabar-Kitarovic’s “thorough understanding of international political relations and the causal relationship between politics and the economy, which she has gained through her roles as Croatia’s former foreign affairs minister, Croatia’s Ambassador to the US and as currently highly positioned NATO Assistant Secretary for Public Diplomacy.” Grabar-Kitarovic possesses, therefore, the important qualifications without which a future president of Croatia could not lead the country into realising what it, in 1990, except freedom it already has, set out to achieve: a full democracy and prosperity or an acceptable or good standard of living for all citizens.




Zeljka Markic  -  Photo: Hina

Zeljka Markic – Photo: Hina

Croatia does not need a president like Zeljka Markic, and especially not when we see that regarding her qualifications Vecernji List journalist Ivica Sola relies almost solely on her ability to attract a large numbers of voters to sign for the referendum on family (that marriage is a union between a man and a woman to be inserted into the Constitution) held in 2013. Incidentally, truthfully, gathering a large number of signatories to a referendum whose question threatens, if they do not vote, the fundamental values people in a predominantly Catholic country hold about the family or marriage structure is not a reflection of the organiser’s skills – the people will largely come off their own bat. This would also be the view of those who live in same sex relationships, who are, after all, someone’s sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, parents …






Ivo Josipovic - Photo: Pixsell

Ivo Josipovic – Photo: Pixsell

Croatia does not need a next president like Ivo Josipovic (the current incumbent). Vecernji List journalist Marko Biocina, in his article, emphasizes (as an important characteristic for a future president) that Josipovic has been a person who “during the past four years has consistently been the only relevant domestic politician who has tried to achieve peace, not quarrels, between people”! Well, does Croatia really need another presidential mandate of a person who tries but does not succeed? Surely not! Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)


  1. Ina, I suppose you’re better to make croatian version of the text, so many Croatian portals can take it. It is important that croatian public can read it and think about it…

    • Thank you Ivor, I actually have written this in Croatian too, sent it off to Croatian papers etc but also to Australian Croatian press BokaCropress.

  2. I looked up Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic on Wikipedia. You are fortunate to have this candidate.

    • Fingers crossed, Clare, her candidacy will officially be announced, it hasn’t yet but it’s a “given” 🙂 – I personally think Kolinda has the right ticket for the job – highly professional, experienced, politically not compromised… thank you on your comment

      • alija derzelez says:

        God just let it be somebody from HDZ.

      • Oh Alija Derzelez, you are a hopeless cynic – as the article says it does not matter from which political party the president comes – that matters for Prime Minister but a president has the function to treat all parties equally.

      • alija derzelez says:

        Well I wish HDZ would win so you and many can stop crying for victims of Drug Tito,you guys only cry when HDZ is out.

      • Oh Alija, you are so wrong – the Croatian diaspora to which I belong and have done so for decades has always fought, advocated etc for justice for the victims of communism – Drug Tito, many many years before HDZ was even born.

  3. Michael Silovic says:

    Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic may be a good candidate because of her qualifications and knowledge of the system. I say may be because her past position is different from what it takes to be a president or PM for the people. For me to support someone I need to understand their positions on internal policy and not foreign policy. I fully understand global foreign policy and its impact on Croatia. I would want her to commit to a Croatia First Policy, Immigration and naturalization reform pertaining to generational Croats wanting to return and more importantly limiting the amount of non Croats permanent stay. Support for our homeland defenders and elderly and defense of our culture and heritage. I want to see equal rights for all people regardless of gender. I am appalled that we went against gay marriage when these people fought for our freedoms and deserve to have the same treatment and respect as others.I want to see a strong pledge to rebuild our farming and industrial communities and a complete overhaul of our education system.If she is quick to allow all generational Croats citizenship given directly by the embassies in other countries within a shorter period of time it will prove that she is committed to a Croatia First Policy and allow billions of dollars in investments by the diaspora almost immediately. I do not want to support someone just because they are from a certain party. I want to see some real solid commitments from anyone willing to put Croatia First.

    • On a winner there, Michael – Croatia First! However, I do see the high relevance of her experiences for the job

      • anonymous says:

        Ina i agree with Michael on the stance about her. she seems to be the perfect candidate for a position relating to foreign matters, not internal, since after all her entire political background has been acting as an ambassador and foreign minister, nothing that truly carries power in domestic matters. And if anything her being posted in foreign positions seems to me make me uncomfortable because she possibly is already in the foreigners pocket, plus if we are going to drag party politics in this this SDP and HDZ historical have been more or less the same when it comes down to presidents, either they are useless, corrupt, or are former communists who want to make Croatia their playground like they had it in Yugoslavia. Also as you mentioned that she was recognized as a Croatian in the international scene as well, but what Croatian is she one of these Yugo Croatians that seem to be everywhere in the Croatian government especially in important positions or a true Croatian which i doubt because how could someone who is a true croat get into a high political position with these people in charge. plus she never made comments on our situation as the diaspora or anything that happened pertaining to the ICTY on Croatian generals.

      • I disagree with you, anonymous, regarding the role of ambassador or foreign minister – they actually carry domestic issues into the world scene…they’re not foreign positions. Croatia does not exist alone in the world … it would be wise for you to do some research regarding what she said or did not about the ICTY or Croatian Generals and whether her positions limited anything i.e. be construed as interfering with justice etc etc…how could someone who is a Croat get into high political positions with these people … you ask! Well, why not! Isn’t it a great thing to have someone so successful to actually succeed internationally? There are many Croats in the diaspora in many high positions, gathering valuable experience, it’s a sad thing when some don’t see that and don’t know how to utilise it for Croatia’s benefit…

      • Michael Silovic says:

        I agree that her relevance in her experience is a plus for our country. That is not in dispute. However foreign policy will not feed the elderly , take care of the sick,and not create jobs that are needed real quick to prevent any further brain drain on our country etc. We have to build a system that benefits Croatia First . God and Country First then everything afterwards.

      • Yes Michael and it is the Government who has the jurisdiction for those things but a president can steer, insert ideas, facilitate some international processes as well as domestic to achieve a better employment platform…I believe Kolinda believes that every able Croat should have a job and if that is so, then, Croatia would be on a winner there…others in that position talk of similar needs but in practice they are hopeless … we must not forget for instance that there is a great reliance on EU funds that are sitting there to be taken to develop domestic platforms, activities, jobs etc the problem is that having lived in communism for so long preparing tenders and expressions of interest for those funds are skills that one knows best coming in with “Western” experiences and know-how etc…there’s much to be done in this area too … an internationally savvy president could do much in leading a culture-change for this

    • Michael, you must realize that a lot of what you comment on is outside the mandate of the president – internal policy is not part of that mandate.

      We do need a “Croatia For Croatians” attitude.

  4. Your blog has been nominated -again, I’affraid- to the Versatil Blog Award from Chestertonblog, as recognition for your work and professionality,

  5. Svjetski kup,
    BRAZIL 2014
    početi s otvaranjem utakmice 12. lipnja
    Čestitamo Hrvatska kvalifikacijski turnir
    i uspjeh u svim utakmicama koje će se igrati! 🙂
    Ja iskreno bih volio da hrvatska reprezentacija
    skupina će ići poslije toga, sve je moguće! 🙂 🙂
    Forza HRVATSKA! 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • Thank you Aliosa – The World cup is at the doorstep and I look forward to celebrating even if Croatia doesn’t win in Brazil – which it will 😀 😀 😀 – I celebrate the teams qualification to play. Much appreciate your support for the Cro team!

  6. About time, Croatia. Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic is shaping up as the best candidate Croatia has had for a long time. Great analysis, by the way, Ina

  7. Ina – I can agree with you to an extent. Yes professional capability is important, but Ronald Reagan was not the smartest person to be president but he was one of the greatest.

    Before a nation can choose a president, the nation must determine what it wants to be. The president should not determine for us who we are or should be.

    “Who are we, what are the core VALUES that represent us?” – that should be the first question. When we understand who we want to be, only then can we choose the leader that embodies those values and will take the nation in the direction of those values.

    Kolinda might have a great education, understand global politics, have global connections – but does she have the values that will take Croatia in the right direction.

    Josipovic also has a great education and sophisticated outlook – but look where his values have gotten us.

    • I agree Zeljko, the president can’t determine for the people what they want to be and no one would in their right mind suggest a president should, a president should lead the process to helping the nation achieve what it wants to be. So far most of what we hear from the people is that they want unemployment to fall, they want to work, produce, be economically sound… those values are quite clear … Ronald Reagan’s times were I believe those of relative economic prosperity and low unemployment, issues different in many respects

      • I know this is an old article, but I ran across it in my attempt to learn more about your new President Elect.

        You may want to peruse this data. The U.S. economy under President Regan was not prosperous. We experienced the highest unemployment since the a Great Depression as well as record inflation. He also pushed corporate taxes lower as well as personal income taxes on the wealthy lower.


        I hope for the best in your country. But I would hope for your country that she is less like President Regan.

      • Thank you on commenting, Lee – it’s a given that economies all over the “developed” countries are struggling and unemployment rising or staying at unacceptable levels etc etc I trust that the new President of Croatia will at least try to make a difference for the better for certainly something needs to shift otherwise – doom

  8. KGK is the best candidate out the pack of candidates. Question is whether Croatians want another left learning, yugo-centric, Serb focused President. We need vision based on a Croatia first president who understands how economics and politics combine to build a prosperous society. Someone who is willing to fight for Croatia, not just apologize and to be on the defensive for being Croatian. Someone who is willing to tell the truth and demand justice for Croatia. Remember accession talks with Serbia are just around the corner…who will we trust with this important opportunity? When it comes to this question, I think Ruza would be best.

    • Hey Sunman – indeed someone will need to be there and remind the EU of what difficult times and impossible conditions were placed upon Croatia at the times of EU accession negotiations, that’s for sure

  9. …you can see that the Croatian electorate exhibit some kind of self-hate or national mental illness! After the death of Dr.Tudjman (one of the great Croatian politicians….if there is a God, he must have sent him!), Boris Miksic (brilliant engineer from Colorado USA) ran for Croat president, but the mentally immature (ill?) Croatian electorate voted for the communist Stipe Mesic… not once, but twice! Same time for girly man Josipovic! Now, the time is RIGHT… now they can vote for Boris (if he is running again) or for Ms.Grabar-Kitarovic! But please, no more chetniks or communists such Gorilla Mesic or girly-man!
    …And as for that stupid Montenegrin Zoran Milanovic, there must better candidates than that!

    • Oh, I so agree with you, Tempus Fugit, many voters in Croatia would seem to harbour resentment against skills achieved in the “West”, many think they know it all or can do it all alone – not going to happen! I hope the voters have matured enough to recognise value when they see it…

      • From what I understand the vote was stolen from Miksic. He received a surprisingly high number of votes but dirty politics and vote manipulation kept him out of the second round. We know which party was responsible.

      • Yes I remember that, Zeljko. Miksic was so ready to step in and shake up the economy +

  10. Mark G. Spiranovich says:

    Croatia needs a president that is dedicated to its people, smart, fair and most of all one that loves his/her country – that is Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović.

  11. Samo Nera says:

    From facebook: I was delighted with Kolinda’s loud engagement around say the latest hit taken by our homeland in the terrible floods – My Slavonia – Kolinda pulled all possible strings to get every possible assistance from the EU (into which she proudly led us) and NATO (where she works now in a high position) … help began arriving very quickly and in abundance …thanks to Kolinda, Slavonia will survive this catastrophe without problems. I thank her from the bottom of my heart for her efforts and for her caring generosity. She has done a great deal of good carrying with her and spreading across the world our proud Croatian name.

  12. Veronika says:

    Kolinda is good-looking and speaks English! In a visual world of instant communication, these two traits go very far. If she has no Commi past then get her in there, NOW ! It’s lustration perhaps, at last ! Let’s hope what happened to Miksic (presidential candidate a few years back) does NOT happen to her. For Kolinda to win, she needs an iron fist like the Iron Lady, Baroness Thatcher. For most of eastern/central European politics only this type of attitude will work because you are dealing with so much behind the scenes back-stabbing, years of foreign and internal repression, corrupt government behavior, apathy, entitlement, legalized fraud, state sponsored repression, etc… that you will need a strong arm (literally) and a strong team to get you through ! You are only as good as your advisors. If Kolinda or any other non-Communist gets through the first thing that needs to be done is lustration, job creation, the economy needs to be fixed, the youth are leaving in droves (brain drain), trials for x-Commi apparatchiks, remove Tito’s filthy name off street names, subsidies for people with more kids (terribly low birth rates in the country), the immediate halting of demonizing the Homeland War, etc. Otherwise you will NEVER EVER have peace and prosperity in Croatia. It is turning into an empty vacation spot with no industry owned by foreigners (read Caribbean) ! The country has intellectuals/patriots, who do not need to have a token ‘Krvavi Bravar’ – ‘Bloodthirsty Locksmith’, (because that is all the ignorant pig Tito was), and his uncultured ‘koza’ – goat of a wife Jovanka, glorified in a land that these Commis destroyed. Thanks for the news Ina. Your blog rocks!

    • Thanks for “thumbs up” to the blog, Veronika. Yes, Kolinda would be the first president of Croatia who has no communist past. Hurrah, I say!

  13. I think Croatia could use a president who is positive and active about Croatia; who focuses upon its accomplishments. Someone who prides themselves on being Croatian. Who wants to say, listen up world… we have a voice! We have a heart! we have soul! Our trials and tribulations have given us Strength & Spirit! and We will be heard! That’s the kind of president Croatia needs.

  14. Have a read of the article below, it show the insidious and malevolent nature of our good neighbors, the Serbs whom our current government wants to cuddle up to:

  15. I hope for the best for Croatia. Hugs, Barbara

  16. Reblogged this on idealisticrebel.


  1. […] is official: Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic is officially in the race for President of Croatia, elections for which are now likely to occur at the end of this year. She will run as Croatian […]

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