Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The New President of Croatia

To an American, the chant sounded like “evil, evil, evil”. But to the majority of Croatian voters, it was music to their ears.

Ivo Josipović – the newly elected Croatian President - smiled as his supporters chanted his name after the official election results came in late Sunday night. The scene looked much like any American campaign celebration, though smaller and less bombastic. Josipović’s demeanor also lacked the polish most American politicians have.

Perhaps that’s for the better. President elect Josipović is a scholar with two PhDs at opposite ends of the spectrum – classical music composition and law. His aspirations to hold a high position (but not the highest) in the Croatian government came about only recently. Unlike many Balkan leaders, his background is clean. His goal as President is to “inspire decisiveness, optimism and civic courage of Croatian people to change our society and make it a better one.''

Certainly corruption will not be erased in Croatia immediately, but the election of Ivo Josipović is a step in the right direction. For an excellent article in the New York Times, go here.


Daniel Nikolić said...

You haven't commented on the fact that Mr Josipović is a declared agnostic in a seemingly quite religious country, and that some Catholic priests took sides. What do you think about it, from your Christian/American perspective?

Jeremy said...

Daniel, Thanks for chiming in!

From my perspective, in a democratic country, a person's religious background (or lack thereof) should not determine their eligibility for public office. It seems that Josipovic was judged primarily on what people judged to be his ability to fulfill the job of President of Croatia. Croatian priests no doubt took sides, but just because one is a self-proclaimed Catholic does not deem one better suited for the job. Perhaps if Croatia were to ever become a theocracy their complaints would then become much more legitimate.

...In my humble American opinion.

Please stop by often Daniel!