Presidential Candidate Wants A New Croatia

Milan Kujundzic Photo: dulist.hr

Milan Kujundzic
Photo: dulist.hr

The presidential candidate of the Alliance for Croatia, dr. Milan Kujundzic, on Sunday 30 November 2014 presented his election platform “The New Croatia”, which at first glance appears rather ambitious and with the high-spirited zeal for change one found way back in 1990 when Croatia decided to secede from Communist Yugoslavia:
• New Constitution of the Republic of Croatia (constitution that would state that Croatia is founded on the 1991-1995 Homeland War [as opposed to outdated and irrelevant WWII and post WWII antifascism] and with the National slogan ”SVE ZA HRVATSKU, HRVATSKU NI ZA ŠTO”/ “Everything For Croatia…” under which dr Franjo Tudjman in the early 1990’s led Croatia into independence and territorial integrity
• New Electoral System (Preferential voting, voting for candidates by name)
• New Public Administration and Internal Regional Restructure
• New Foreign Politics
• New Regional Politics
• New Strategy for National Security
• New Economic and Social Politics
• New Energy Politics
• New Demographic Renewal
• New Reconciliation and Truth (it’s the duty and responsibility of the State to research all the crimes of totalitarian regimes, but not with the aim of emphasising old divisions or equating in historical sense the victim with the perpetrator, but to the contrary, that is, so that we could finally leave the history behind us and go forth into the future.)

Even though he advocates that the number of ministries be reduced, he said that one of his first moves, if elected President, would be to establish a ministry for Croats living outside Croatia. Whether Croatia needs a whole ministry dedicated to Croats living abroad might be a moot point with many, however, the truth is that much needs to be done in this area in Croatia, particularly in educating Croats living in Croatia about Croats living abroad and about the truth of their life in “exile” – whether voluntary or forced, whether political or economic. Croatian diaspora in times of Franjo Tudjman during the Homeland war was one with Croatia and that should be nurtured with special attention to the benefit of all.

As for demographic revival, Kujundzic said that he did not support bans, but was rather for making it easier for women to decide to have children, including by making sure that day-care and education was available to every child.
He said that one of his first moves, if elected President, would be to use his powers to implement his platform, which he described as a plan for saving Croatia from a complete economic, social and moral collapse.

Kujundzic also said that the country’s biggest problem was a low birth rate and brain-drain.

Ivo Josipovic

Ivo Josipovic

Current president and presidential candidate, Ivo Josipovic made the statement during a meeting with citizens in Zagreb’s Maksimir Park, when asked by reporters to comment on the election platform of one of his rivals, Milan Kujundzic, who said that there was no longer any need to state in the preamble of the constitution the state’s foundations from the more distant past, including the Anti-fascist Council for the National Liberation of Croatia (ZAVNOH), and that the country’s statehood was founded on the Homeland War.
I would not comment on his platform… I would only like to say that the Constitution already mentions the Homeland War; so nothing new would be added to the Constitution. As for anti-fascism – it is a historical achievement of the Croatian state and it will remain in the Constitution forever, just as the Homeland War, the direct foundation of our statehood, will,” said Josipovic.

Definitely, Josipovic denies the power of democracy by saying “it (antifascism) will remain in the Constitution forever”! But then again, he is of communist totalitarian stock who think that people power is unimportant when it comes to constitutional changes. No use wasting a breath on this pathetic statement.

But, Ivo Josipovic also proposes constitutional amendments in his presidential election campaign. He is proposing that citizens be enabled to initiate a parliamentary debate on any issue if they collect 10,000 signatures for such a petition. Kujundzic’s plans for constitutional changes also entertain the facility of “easy” access to referendums on important questions by citizens who collect enough signatures.

Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic

Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic

Presidential candidate Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic commented on these plans for constitutional changes and said firmly that “Croatia is not in a constitutional crisis, but an economic one”!
Amen to that!
While it may be that Kujundzic and Josipovic think that by changing the constitution with view to including individual citizen’s rights to instigate parliamentary debate or referendums with relative ease and minimal “red tape” (which painstakingly exists now) and, therefore, increasing direct participation of citizens in political decision making, the fact is that in a democracy, if it functions properly, every citizen can instigate parliamentary debate via his/her representative etc. In other words, having something written in the constitution does not guarantee it will translate into practice – democracy is lived in everyday lives and it is up to the government to ensure this is enabled and politicians must think democratically, not simply ensure democracy is on paper.

The problem with parliamentary representatives and political authorities in Croatia is that they in overwhelming number of cases still fail to act as servants of the public, of their constituents. This of course is a mind set that belongs to the concept of “political elitism” which seems to be accepted in Croatia as “fait accompli” with roots probably strengthened during half a century of totalitarian communist rule in Yugoslavia. This is wrong and must be demolished if power is to shift to the people; no amount of changes to the constitution alone will change this.

While Milan Kujundzic’s election platform announces sweeping changes in almost every aspect of public administration or governance, which may indeed be needed, it would seem that such a seemingly “radical” election platform in dire economic, existential and low living standard circumstances may scare off rather than attract voters.

The coming week will tell us how many presidential candidates will officially enter the race to the high office as candidates collect at least 10,000 signatures each to qualify. The first round of voting will be on Sunday 28 December 2014! What miserable and mean-spirited individual came up with that date!? Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

 

INFORMATION FOR CROATIAN VOTERS LIVING OUTSIDE CROATIA:
Voters living abroad can realise their voting right if BY WEDNESDAY 17th December 2014 they lodge an application for active registration or an application for prior registration. These can be lodged at the Croatian Consulates either in person, by post, email or telephone. There is a prescribed Form to be filled in. Ask for it at the consulate or download from www.uprava.gov.hr. Forms must be signed and one must attach a photocopy of a valid ID document (e.g. passport, ID Card…). One needs to register to vote for the First Round and/ Second Round or both Rounds of voting (Second Round will be held on 11 January 2015. See www.uprava.gov.hr for further information

Comments

  1. Thanks for posting Ina. Thanks too for posting how we can vote abroad which is a ridiculous system and reaffirms that the Commis in power in Croatia do NOT want us to vote. The locations are worse than limited and I can’t believe the paperwork. In Canada, all I have to do is show up with government-issued ID and I can vote. I pray that people come out to vote and the Commis and their Cetnik friends can finally be defeated. Otherwise, there is no hope for Croatia.

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    • I get angry and frustrated myself, Veronika, Croatia certainly makes it difficult to vote if one lives abroad, this times it seems even worse – i.e. in past elections if one did not have registered address of abode in Croatia, just abroad, then all needed was to turn up at polling place with passport etc and vote, this time even these people need to register in advance, not just the o0nes with address of abode in Croatia… Hopefully more things will get clearer but just in case people need to know 17th is cut-off date to register to vote. Cheers

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  2. Michael Silovic says:

    One of the things I like about the article is that the focus is on the brain drain and the diaspora. Last year alone the diaspora invested about 11 billion dollars back into our country and that is only scratching the surface.We need to get many generations back into our country, provide tax relief for retirees and aid our veterans in every way possible, Losing the younger generation to the EU States will be a terrible thing for our country and we need to do a lot more to keep them from leaving and growing in population.There are other issues that we face as a country from aging population to instability in the Balkans region. While some may say we have a democracy it is only in paper that we have a true democracy. In a democracy it is the people who determine their destiny and not goverment. Governments role in order to be successful need to head to the demands of those they serve in order to satisfy the needs of the people.This rarely happens with the mentality of those currently holding office. There is also a lot of blame that needs to go towards the diaspora as well for our country not moving forward properly and quickly. When people who escaped before and during the war with their life and found a better place across borders they get complacent and fail to understand that all is not so good back home. When you start to criticize the far right extreme element of your people you are becoming a puppet and complacent of a do nothing goverment that does nothing to further the future of our motherland. You basically surrender.Those who are to the far extreme right understand that they need to be ready to defend once again if needed in a heart beat and are the ones that will make greater demands on our goverment such as those who want to defend the right of our veterans and opposition to Cyrillic, preserve our culture. ethnicity and heritage. as an example.The far right extremists in our country took to the front lines and never ran away from home but stood to the end to defend what is our..Yes we have a democracy on paper that can vanish very quickly in a volatile unstable Balkans and world.

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  3. No legitimate President or country talks about anti-fascism as a daily part of public discourse; except maybe Russia. What’s wrong with this Croatian government that constantly is looking backwards at glorifying WWII, like the communists of Yugoslavia did and like Croatia has no other history except WWII; not even Serbia does this unless it fits their narrative of a Greater Serbia. And claiming that anti fascism build modern day Croatia is a stretch at best. Anti fascism was a reaction to German fascism of WWII and was the foundation of communism and totalitarianism that created Yugoslavia. Anti fascism was a legitimate movement, but the communists sabotaged it to create their own version for totalitarianism and their own fascism of the left. Does no one in Croatia ever question the garbage that comes out of the mouths of the Government; do they even hold their elected representatives accountable for the terrible state of affairs in Croatia? Croatia step out of the past and into the future; vote for change.

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  4. Kujundzic is just a Trojan horse for the communists. By entering the race he has only strengthened Josipovic by diluting the right wing vote. What a scoundrel.

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    • Well, Ante Saric, he may be helping Josipovic get more votes once the right wing voters distribute their votes among right wing candidates, and I believe there will be more of those, but then again the people need to accept that everyone has a right to candidacy in a democracy so too has Kujundzic. This also means that candidates will need to work harder at getting decent vote numbers. It is, though, disappointing

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  5. Hi Ina, What are the current polls indicating between the 3 candidates?

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    • It seems, Zezevica, Josipovic still leads in the polls but Grabar-Kitarovic and Kujundzic registering rise although at this stage not significant ones. I think we need to wait a week or so as the official campaigning starts next week i.e. after 8 December when due date for candidates’ “approval” signatures are in. Grabar-Kitarovic second in this formula so far. Polls are to my view not 100% representative and the real one comes on election day 🙂

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  6. We don’t need a new Croatia but a better Croatia.

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  7. I still root for Kolinda! 🙂

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  8. Thanks for posting ! 🙂
    Regards,
    Aliosa.

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  9. ” As for anti-fascism – it is a historical achievement of the Croatian state and it will remain in the Constitution forever, just as the Homeland War, the direct foundation of our statehood, will,” said Josipovic.
    “Definitely, Josipovic denies the power of democracy by saying “it (antifascism) will remain in the Constitution forever”! But then again, he is of communist totalitarian stock who think that people power is unimportant when it comes to constitutional changes. No use wasting a breath on this pathetic statement.”
    Yes, Ina, I agree Josipovic’s statement is an affirmation of his own political communist orientation and he has not hidden that fact from anyone. In fact, on the contrary, he has publicly stated that he is proud of the contribution communism has made to the development of modern day Croatia, after all his SDP call themselves the continuation of the League of Communists of Croatia. He glorifies the heroism of the Partisans of WWII and happily bestows various medals and honorariums on former Partisans lucky enough to be selected. There are numerous photos in the public domain that verify this. So, we all know who Josipovic is and we know what SDP is so anyone casting a vote in the upcoming presidential election for Josipovic is certainly casting a vote for the left and the pro-Yugoslav elements that are alive and well in Croatia today. And herein lies the problem. The original Croatian constitution was enacted in December of 1990, not in 2000 or 2011 when SDP were in power. It contains the offensive passages( modern day Croatia based on antifascism,communism, socialism) as a direct result of the will of the majority who sat in Sabor at that time – the ruling HDZ govt. of President Tudjman and under the Premiership of Stjepan Mesic (May-Aug.1990) and Premiership of Josip Manolic (Aug.1990 to July 1991). The ones to blame for this constitutional crisis of today are the ones that built the constitution,in the first place. WHY? Why would a supposed right-wing, conservative, political party claiming to be of a nationalistic character, choose to shackle us once again to the bloody regime that claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of Croatian souls? And even after the referendum of May of 1991 with the resulting overwhelming mandate given to HDZ by the Croatian people to secede from Yugoslavia– no amendments to the constitution to reflect the people’s rejection of AVNOJ and ZAVNOJ and over the subsequent war and post war decades, indeed with each subsequent HDZ govt. it is obvious there was no political will to change the basis on which modern day Croatia was established. That alone speaks volumes to those with ears to hear and eyes to see! And here we are today with Kolinda Kitarovic, the HDZ Presidential candidate openly speaking lovingly and proudly about her grandfather’s role as a Partisan in Rijeka during WWII and her latest statement surrounding the questionable exhibition of Croatian firearms used by our soldiers during the Homeland War found in a Serbian museum……What kind of a change is she offering for the Croatian people? What kind of a change is her party offering? How is she delineating herself from the opposition? Why is she not in favor of a constitutional change that would break our ties once and for all with any form of “bratsvo jedinstvo”. Does HDZ of 2015 really offer an alternative to those yearning for change?

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    • Some good points here, Velebit – Grabar-Kitarovic is certainly not talking about changes to the constitution, her main thrust is economic growth, social stability, rule of law, national security and defence, and international acknowledgement and I believe that the latter may hold the key to peeling off WWII garbage including antifascist foundations to new Croatia as to her speaking about her grandfather it merely could mean that she understands what many in Croatia are relating to when it comes to historical political sides and she has said once in an interview that not all communists/partisans were criminals, which is true but she roots for a modern democracy, a true democracy based on democratic rights… that is the change that needs to come to Croatia I believe: to live the democracy not merely talk about it.

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  10. Regardless of most of your readers hate of the ” Big Bad Tito ” & his merry band of ” Evil Croat Hating ” Communists ” lets try & put that over embellished unfounded slur to the side for a minute. Whether you like it or not the fact remains that the Modern day foundation of today’s Croatia is based on the WW2 Pro Allied ZAVNOH constitution of 1943/44. The vast majority of partizans of Croatian ethnicity who fought to free Croatia from Nazism & Fascism were not communists in ideology.. Today’s Croatia was founded on the Pro-Allied anti Nazi anti Fascist struggle & liberation of Croatian land & that Ina V. is hardly ” irrelevant ” in regards to Croatia’s constitution stating that very fact. The entire Western Democratic world hardly thinks its ” irrelevant ” Ina V. to commemorate the importance of the WW2 Allied victory against Nazism and Fascism . If it is O.K. for the English, French & American & even the Russian & Serbian people to celebrate their role in the defeat of nazism & fascism why should we Croats shun our role in the defeat of nazism & fascism because of some foolish sense of self righteousness , by removing all evidence of that from the Croatian constitution ?!, you are just playing into the hands of those who wish to deny Croatia’s role in the defeat of nazism & fascism & only want WW2 Croatia to be remembered for is its’s part in being a Pro Nazi Fascist Puppet State propped up by the Nazi Germans & Italian Fascists . The Homeland War of 1991-1995 was a rejection of Slobodan Milosevic’s Greater Serbian fascism which has no relevance to the mentioning of Croatian modernity in the constitution, that war was not fought in rejection of the ideals of Multi – Cultural Yugoslav Brotherhood & Unity which the modern Croatian nation was a part of in the same way as the old Croatian state was a part of the Hungarian Kingdom from 1102-1918 A.D. We shouldnt tamper with the current Croatian constitution & claim at the same time to be holier than thou in a anti Nazi/ anti Fascist world. The whole world including Croatia was reborn with the defeat of Nazism & Fascism. Those are the historical facts. Dr Tudjman was one of the Co authors of the amended Croatian constitution of 1990

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    • Stipe: Today’s Croatia was founded on the determination and fight of Croatian people and defenders who were neither pro-Allied nor pro-Nazi. Get your facts together and yes of course all Partisans were not communists but almost all if not Party members allowed it to dictate and its operatives to commit crimes. 1991 War was not rejection of Milosevic Greater-Serbia it was to sustain secession and independence from Yugoslavia. Please turn elsewhere with your twisted facts, thank you

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