In an interview published in the Friday edition of Hrvatski Tjednik, President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović said that she would in fact run for a second term as head of state.
The announcement, although still not official, is something the public has been waiting several months to hear. The president said in the interview that she could simply "not turn her back on Croatia."
"Of course I will run for a second presidential mandate, and I will make a formal announcement very shortly," said the president.
"Even though I am loyal to the HDZ party," she added, "It does not mean that I am disloyal to the whole spectrum of people who love Croatia," said Grabar Kitarović.
The president denied that the HDZ's slide in approval ratings following a poor result at the recent EU elections would have a negative impact on her bid for a second term, saying: "Everything is in my hands."
The president also did not want to comment on the growing number of presidential candidates who have appeared over the past few months: "It is too early to make any assessments. The Croatian people and citizens will get the chance to have their own say, and it is our responsibility to accept the voters' decision."
Grabar-Kitarović confirmed that she would continue to address the country's declining demographics, a key focus of her first term in office.
And finally, she said she would work hard to promote Croatia in the best light possible as Croatia assumes the rotating presidency of the European Union during the first six months of 2020.
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