Considering the three presidential candidates who have so far officially announced their candidacy for the impeding presidential elections planned for 11 January 2015, the current President dr. Ivo Josipovic, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic and dr. Milan Kujundzic, the first two started their pre-campaigning in a rather unmethodical and often seemingly sloppy way. Perhaps there was no way but unmethodical in given circumstances when a new candidate is easily characterised by the incumbent’s camp as someone encroaching on ‘their’ territory. Although Josipovic’s current position as president has given him a significant advantage, his recent ‘Kim Jong Un’ style rating has marked some significant declines in the past months, which, of course, speaks volumes about the quality of his competitors. Unlike him, his opponents have the advantage of avoiding being burdened by past bad actions or decisions or vague ideologies while their strongest trump card is that they owe no debts to the intelligence underworld – and, very importantly – no debts to the communist ideology of former Yugoslavia. In addition, they are not struck by a ‘victory at all costs’ cramp; eventual election loss would not represent the ‘end of the world’ to his opponents while to President Josipovic, an election loss would not only be a personal loss but many would also declare his five-year term as preseident – a huge disaster.
Although the latest polls suggest that candidate Grabar-Kitarovic is breathing down the current President’s neck much stronger than dr. Kujundzic, let’s not speculate here as to which one of them will finally manage blowing Josipovic out of the Office of the President at Pantovcak in Zagreb. It’s worth mentioning, though, that dr. Kujundzic appears to be navigating through the campaign confidently and appears relaxed – interestingly, almost completely undisturbed by the Office of the President/Pantovcak/Josipovic – while Grabar-Kitarovic has for months now suffered excessive shelling from him.
For months now the incumbent president of Croatia, Ivo Josipovic, has been slinging dirt and sarcasm – often wrapped up in stupid remarks, malice and sexism – against his opponent Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic. He started his snide attacks with a phrase “We have the picture, but no tone” as the media wrote about Grabar-Kitarovic as a possible candidate and she, had kept out of giving interviews or statements, but her popularity and ratings grew to the point where jitters sparked from Josipovic’s eyes and every stupid word he’d utter when referring to her. On her arrival in Croatia, from her NATO post, embarking on a pre-campaign road, Josipovic took to a scandalous route upon which he was to call her “Barbie”. Of course he denied any part in a mysteriously discovered document “Action Plan Barbie” – a step by step recipe by which he was to bring her down as presidential candidate, there was little if any doubt that his campaign quarters weaved that deplorable sexist and misogynous plan.
She was initially introduced to the Croatian public as having left NATO and had returned to Croatia to run for president. It didn’t take long for camp Josipovic to discover that she was in fact still a NATO employee (on unpaid leave) and turn this whole thing during October in public eyes as a “deliberate lie”, calling that wonderfully sincere and just person, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic – a liar. Indeed, she should not have been placed in a position where she ended up having to defend herself from such outrageous accusations by Josipovic. The campaign headquarters together with Grabar-Kitarovic did end up clarifying to the public her employment status with NATO but to my liking, they missed in their rebuttal emphasising enough for Croatia the enormous desirability of a person of Grabar-Kitarovic’s qualifications for the presidency. After all, here is Grabar-Kitarovic, a welcome staff member of an important international organisation (NATO) and there is Josipovic – a failed contender for position as judge of the International Court in the Hague.
It seems that in his fight for a second term, President Josipovic is not the one to ‘calmly wait by the river and watch the bodies of his opponents float by’ as he has taken up some frantic running around Croatia, shoving mileage under his feet and while his lips and mind run busy with stupidity and gaffs that boggle the mind and makes one ask: how in the world did Croatia ever end up with such a snake-in-the-grass for a president? How else would one imagine a man – Josipovic – who at a recent public gathering that also formed a station on the presidential campaign trail, standing next to Grabar-Kitarovic he leaned and warned threateningly: “Hey, be a good girl!” (“Hej, budi dobra!” in Croatian language)
Well, now – we come to Tuesday 11 November when Grabar-Kitarovic revealed her election platform/program at a function in Zagreb that was well covered by the media and supported by hundreds of dignitaries and high public profile citizens.
In her election platform – “For a better Croatia” – speech Grabar Kitarovic vehemently attacked what she claimed was the poor economic and social situation in the country and the current President’s inaction. ( source: hrt.hr TV news, 11.11.2014)
“Croatia is in crisis because there is an atmosphere of pessimism, discouragement and lack of imagination… We need new unity, optimism, new ideas,” she stated. She vowed as president to bring down the current government, to save the Croatian people the pain and torture of having to live another year, pending next general elections, in this hopeless state of mismanagement and incompetence.
She pledged among other things to promote rural development, sustainable development, stronger support for researchers, educational reforms and a national development strategy.
On foreign policy, Grabar Kitarovic said she would take an active role. “As co-creator of foreign policy I will insist on a responsible foreign policy that primarily promotes national interests,” she said.
She accused the current President, Ivo Josipovic, of failing to take care of ordinary people’s interests.
“He took care of protecting the political interests and positions of the current government, and ignored the common interests of citizens,” Grabar Kitarovic said.
“If Ivo Josipovic was a determined and independent President, in this dramatic situation in which the country finds itself, he would roar and expressly demand a government session,” she continued.
Josipovic was later asked what he thought of her election program and he called it a fantasy!
“This is not really a program, but a certain fantasy, and its main determinant is ‘hit the President,'” Josipovic said. “What she presented implies the abolition of the government, parliament and local government,” he added.
See what I mean: Josipovic is a stupid, hopeless president. He does not even seem to know what a program or electoral platform is! There is no doubt that what he says is not a program, is actually a program and a superb one at that! It is the program that Croatia needs and great majority want:
Get rid of the incompetent bastards!
Many wonder why Grabar-Kitarovic decided to run for president of the country that is facing bankruptcy, why on earth would one want to leave a top position (NATO) for a lower one (President of a small and economically frail state)? Perhaps the answer lies in patriotism or nostalgia that so easily flourishes in one’s mind and heart when living abroad away from ‘home’. Whichever it is, both are powerful motives and the strongest of foundations for success. There’s that demeanour of intellingence with Grabar-Kitarovic and stupidity with Josipovic. No contest! Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)