Outgoing President Grabar-Kitarović Extends Her Hand to Milanović

By 6 January 2020

ZAGREB, January 6, 2020 - The incumbent president Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, speaking on Sunday evening after the announcement of preliminary results of the runoff election showing that she had lost to her challenger, former Social Democrat prime minister Zoran Milanović, extended her hand to the winner and said she expected a civilised transfer of power.

"Croatia has decided. Zoran Milanović will be the next president and I congratulate him on that," Grabar-Kitarović said in her campaign headquarters, asking her supporters to stop booing at the mention of Milanovic's name.

She proposed that she and Milanović meet before the formal handover of power, saying that what Croatia needed was stability. "For me, campaigning finished on Friday, and I will not say a single word against my predecessors or successor," he added.

Grabar-Kitarović said that a lesson that could be drawn from this election was that office holders should spend more time among the people and listen to them. She thanked all the voters, both at home and abroad, for going to the polls and showing that they cared about Croatia.

She also thanked her family for their support, as well as the leadership of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) party headed by Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, party members, sympathisers, other parties and individuals who supported her.

Summing up her five years in office, Grabar-Kitarović said she had focused on Croatian national, state and religious values, the Homeland War as the foundation of modern Croatia, war veterans, their families, and soldiers and civilians killed or gone missing during the 1991-1995 war.

She said that Croatians are strongest when they are together. "We showed that in wartime and we have to show it in peacetime. Let's stay united and together for our Croatia!"

More news about presidential elections can be found in the Politics section.