Zoran Milanović announces his candidacy for president (Luka Stanzl/PIXSELL) Zoran Milanović announces his candidacy for president (Luka Stanzl/PIXSELL)

Zoran Milanović announced his bid for the presidency with the support of the Social Democrats on Monday.  He's running under the slogan “A President with Character” and says he wants to lead a progressive, modern nation.

“No one should attempt this without having a real desire within to run. I have that desire and I want to be the president of a modern, progressive, inquisitive, and open Croatia, a country that has made the most progress when it strived for modernity,” Milanović told a news conference.

Earlier in the afternoon, the SDP's presidency convened to discuss the results of an internal poll to determine which candidate has the strongest support from members. Milanović was deemed the top candidate and the leadership is set to make a recommendation to the party's Main Committee that Milanovic runs their candidate in the election.

“With this decision, we are moving forward together, arm in arm, into these elections. The SDP expects Zoran Milanović to win these elections and to return dignity and honor to the office of the president,” said SDP leader Davor Bernardić.

Milanovic led the SDP from 2007 to 2016 and from December 2011 to January 2016 he was the country's prime minister after an SDP-led coalition won the parliamentary election. He has been in private business since Davor Bernardić took over the leadership of the party.