Croatia elected its first female president on Sunday in a close runoff election that brought defeat to the country’s center-left incumbent. UPI covered the poll:
Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, a politically conservative member of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), won in the second round of voting against Ivo Josipovic, the country’s president since 2010, by a slim margin of about 21,000 votes.
After 99 percent of the ballots had been counted, Grabar-Kitarovic gained 50.5 percent of the vote in comparison to Josipovic’s 49.5 percent.
The first round of elections two weeks ago caught Grabar-Kitarovic 38.5 percent of the vote and Josipovic 37.2 percent, but since neither surpassed the required 50 percent a runoff election was called. After Sunday’s voting Josipovic conceded defeat and congratulated Grabar-Kitarovic.
Presidential terms in Croatia last five years, putting Grabar-Kitarovic in power until at least 2020. Her victory could signal a political shift to the right in Croatia, specifically in parliamentary elections in the latter part of 2015 that could bring a majority of seats to the center-right HDZ.