The Croatian Diaspora

Croat Minority Elects Croatian National Council in Serbia

By 4 November 2018

ZAGREB, November 4, 2018 - The list called "Croats Together" led by the Croat community's activist Jasna Vojnić, won on Sunday all the seats in the Croatian National Council (HNV), which is the 29-member umbrella organisation that represents the 58,000-strong Croatian community in education, media, culture and the official use of the language in Serbia.

The leaders of the Croatian minority were chosen indirectly, by 77 electors, at a session held in the Serbian National Assembly at noon on Sunday.

The electors are ethnic Croats who have gathered at least 60 certified signatures of support from their community. Of those 77 electors, 74 voted for the "Croats Together" slate led by the Democratic Alliance of Croats in Vojvodina (DSHV) and a few other Croat associations and prominent members from their community.

The DSHV leader Tomislav Žigmanov said after the election that the victory was ensured despite "obstructions in the organisation of the elections, spreading of defeatism and unfavourable political circumstances". Being committed to our unity we have managed to win the confidence of a large number of citizens, he added.

Jasna Vojnić said that "the new, fourth Croatian National Council will evenly develop the institutions in all communities where members of the Croat minority live." "The Council is meant to be a link with the Catholic Church, the motherland and with the majority nation as well as with all other ethnic minorities," she said.

In addition to the Croats, all other 22 ethnic minorities are also choosing their leaderships on Sunday.

The new HNV was elected indirectly because there were not enough Croatian voters to be registered in a separate voter roll which may enable them to hold direct elections. Furthermore, three more minorities elected their leadership by electors; and those are the Montenegrin, Macedonian and Russian minorities, whereas 18 ethnic minorities elected the new leaderships by direct vote.

To read more about the Croat minority in Serbia, Click here.