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Croatia

Yearbook 1997

Croatia. Croatia on several occasions during the year was subjected to harsh international criticism for the lack of respect for human rights and the unwillingness to extradite suspected war criminals. At the same time, prosecutors at the War Criminal Tribunal in The Hague worked to gather material to prosecute President Franjo Tudjman for war crimes. Croatia, in turn, criticized the tribunal because the UN investigators wanted access to documents such as: may contain orders from the President to the Bosnian Croats during the war.

According to Countryaah, Croatia is in practice under financial sanctions. US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright pointed out at a press conference in Zagreb this summer that no change will take place as long as K. does not fulfill his promises of refugees' return and extradition of war criminals.

Tudjman was reelected in the presidential election in mid-June. He received 60% of the vote, but the turnout was only 57%. The election was monitored by observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the OSCE, who found that the election was free but unfair. Among other things, they pointed out that opposition candidates had not been allowed to speak in state media.

Even tougher was the criticism of the elections in eastern Slavonia, where the Serbs voted for the first time as Croatian citizens. The election was so poorly organized that an extra election day was required. In particular, the criticism was that many Serbs were missing in the embankment. Eastern Slavonia is the land strip where the Danube forms a border with Serbia. The area was conquered by Croatian Serbs in the fall of 1991, and the Croatian population fled. In connection with the peace negotiations on Bosnia and Herzegovina in Dayton, the parties to the Croatian conflict also reached a peace settlement, according to which the UN would administer East Slavonia for two years and K. then would take over the administration of the area. The mandate was extended in the summer of 1997 to January 15, 1998.

At the same time as the elections in Eastern Slavonia, members were appointed to Parliament's first chamber and the municipal assemblies throughout the country. Here, Tudjman's Democratic Union, the Hrvatska Democratic Zajednica (HDZ), broke the downward trend of recent elections and held its positions.

1997 Croatia

After 19 days of government negotiations, the Kukuriku government formed with Social Democrat Zoran Milanović as prime minister. Behind the government stood Kukurikus 81 members and 8 members from national minorities in the country.

The first priority of the government was to get the country admitted to the EU. In January 2012, a referendum was conducted on the admission, with 66.3% voting. In March, Croatia entered into a settlement with Slovenia on Ljubljanska banka, and Slovenia could then accede to Croatia's accession. On 1 July 2013, Croatia was admitted as the 28th Member State of the Union.

During a visit to Israel in February 2012, the president apologized to the Israeli people for the genocide of Jews carried out by the right-wing nationalist Ustaše militia in collaboration with the Nazis during World War II.

In November 2012, a court of appeal at the Criminal Tribunal for Ex-Yugoslavia pardoned the two generals Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markač, who were otherwise sentenced to 24 and 18 years for war crimes. This was ICTY's new line laid by the court's North American-Jewish chairman, Theodor Meron. A political line that should prevent North American and Israeli generals from being convicted of war crimes.

In a referendum in December 2013, the country agreed to amend the constitution so that gay marriage was banned. By July, Parliament had passed a law that opened up registered partnerships.

In June 2014, the European Court of Human Rights instructed Croatia to launch investigations into the Serbian police's killing of Serbs during the 1991-95 war. The Croatian courts continued to have 200 war crimes cases pending. Serbs continue to be discriminated against by the authorities in the country - e.g. by not getting the same rights as Croats when buying real estate. The authorities also discriminate against Roma and in particular against stateless Roma who do not have access to health care, social assistance or education.

The December 2014/January 2015 presidential election was won by HDZ's Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović. In the first round of elections she got 37.2% against 38.5% for the incumbent President Josipović. But in the second round, Grabar-Kitarović narrowly won the incumbent president by 50.7% versus 49.3%. The turnout was only 47.1% in the first round, but 59.1% in the second round. Part of the explanation for the landslide was that HDZ agreed with its sister party in Bosnia-Herzegovina that HDZ voters were driven to the polling stations for free. Josipović protested to the State Election Commission that the free transport was a form of payment to the electorate and therefore contrary to the electoral law, but the protest was rejected. The election result was so much more surprising sinceJosipović had been high in popularity surveys ever since his inauguration in 2010.

 

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