HDZ gets its fifth president.
Andrej Plenković was elected on Sunday as HDZ president. 98,209 of about 208,000 HDZ members voted on Sunday in their local party organisations. Plenković was the only candidate and he received 97,823 votes. Plenković has replaced Tomislav Karamarko, who submitted his resignation on 21 June after he did not manage to form a new parliamentary majority.
After the results were announced, Plenković gave a statement. “I am aware of challenges ahead of us. As part of European People’s Party, we will be a people’s party based on universal humanistic principles. We are opening a new chapter. This is difficult time for HDZ, Croatia, Europe and the world. We need a new vision and approach to respond to economic, social and security challenges of modern world. HDZ will make important decisions to revitalize the party. While visiting all Croatian counties in recent days, I have listened to what party members and voters had to say. I believe that open dialogue, intraparty democracy and involvement are necessary for successful public policies.
My priority will be to earn the confidence of voters. I am convinced that I can lead HDZ to again become the driving force of Croatia’s development. We have achieved many success which we can be proud of, but there are a lot of challenges ahead of us. We want to improve independence of all institutions in Croatia. Success has to depend of every person’s efforts and capabilities. We will promote entrepreneurship and market competition.
It will not be easy to change current trends, but I believe in success. The main goal will be to revitalize the economy. We are working on electoral manifesto which will focus on these issues”, said Plenković.
In his election programme, Plenković stressed that his main goal was to restore the confidence of voters with credible and consistent policies. Plenković sees HDZ as a nation-building party of Croatian people representing national interests and traditional values, and as part of the European centre-right political spectrum.
Plenković is the fifth HDZ president. Franjo Tuđman led the party from its foundation in 1989 until his death in 1999. The second president of the party was Ivo Sanader (from 2000 to 2009), who was replaced after his resignation by Jadranka Kosor. Since 2012, the party was led by Tomislav Karamarko.
Plenković was born in Zagreb in 1970. He graduated from the Faculty of Law in Zagreb, where he completed post-graduate studies in international public and private law. He was employed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1994, and in his diplomatic career he held several important posts in the country and abroad. He joined HDZ in 2011 and he was a member of Croatian Parliament until 1 July 2013. From April 2012 to July 2013, he was also one of 12 Croatian MPs who were observers in European Parliament. After the accession of Croatia to the European Union in 2013, he became a Member of European Parliament. At the European elections held on 25 May 2014, he was re-elected as an MEP.