• Some reflections on the recent Croatian presidential election

  • Von Karlo Jurak | 03 Jan 15 | Posted under: Zentral- und Osteuropa , Kroatien
  • The recent Croatian presidential election (first round) has been over in the light of hopelessness and manipulations.

    The presidential campaign was a kind of burlesque which consisted of a vacuous competition between four candidates who don’t differentiate much from one another. Ivo Josipović, the actual president, has represented the interests of his party (SDP) which has implemented neoliberal policy in many areas of the Croatian society in spite of “social democracy” in its name (that is not unusual – it has been the main tendency of social democracy in Europe for many years ago). “Market-based adjustment”, “competitiveness” and “foreign investment” are the key phrases in his expression of his political program.

    A similar rhetoric is main characteristic of his rival from HDZ Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović. It is therefore obvious that there is no crucial difference between two opposed presidential candidates regardless of their affiliation in different parties (just officially, one is centre-left, other is centre-right).

    In addition, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović is the employee of NATO. Both, Josipović and Grabar-Kitarović are going to compete for the victory in the second round of the election (in the first round Josipović got 38,46% and Grabar-Kitarović 37,22%).

    Further, Milan Kujundžić, the former member of HDZ and the current president of Croatian Dawn (Hrvatska zora), has represented aggressive far-right policy what has been marked with right populism, the evocation of traditional values, catholicism and patriotism. He was an outsider and without a real chance for the victory on the presidential election – consequently, he got 6,3%.

    Finally, Ivan Vilibor Sinčić was the youngest ever candidate on elections. His affiliation, called Živi zid, has dealt with a pseudo-anti-establishment matters without the essential knowing of the political concepts and the understanding of the current situation. He positioned himself on the third position (16,42%) and that was a surprise on first sight.

    However, we must stress that there is an empty space in the political spectrum as a consequence of the harmful politics of the aforementioned SDP, HDZ and their presidential candidates. In other words, the people seek a political option which would fight for their true interests (low voter turnout, cca 46%, is the indicator of that, too).

    Nevertheless, Živi zid is not this wanted political option, as obvious from their collaboration with HČSP (Croatian far-right nationalists, pro-fascists) and other right-wingers such as Josip Klemm. Moreover, Sinčić´s rhetoric was anti-immigrant oriented in some moments.

    The only true anti-establishment political option in Croatia is the newly formed left party Workers’ front, who didn't have a candidate on this election but will take part in the parliamentary election at the end of 2015 whose program is really oriented against neoliberal capitalism and for better society for all. In the meantime, Croatian people must be very careful in their political choices because of many pseudo-progressive, sometimes far-right, political parties and organizations which try to arrive at political stage. 


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