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Croatia elects centre-left challenger Zoran Milanovic as president

January 7, 2020 6:19 am

Croatia’s presidential election has been won by centre-left challenger Zoran Milanovic, who defeated the nationalist incumbent.

The social democratic ex-prime minister vowed to heal divisions, and said his victory had brought “hope and faith”.

Mr Milanovic beat Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic – a conservative who won the presidency in 2015 – by 53% to 47%.

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Croatia’s president has a role in foreign policy and security matters but the prime minister runs the country.

Speaking after the result from Sunday’s election was announced, Mr Milanovic, 53, said it was time for Croatians to “celebrate together”.

“I will not make divisions among the Croatian citizens, especially when it comes to the things they are sensitive about,” he said.

During the campaign Mr Milanovic, who served as prime minister from 2011 to 2015, pledged to tackle corruption, which he said had increased since he lost power to the conservatives.

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