Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović said on Wednesday in Mostar, which she visited during her campaign, that care for Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) would continue to be an important plank of her state policy.
In that southern city in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Croatian president promised that she would continue to advocate the achievement of full equality of the Croatian people, including their possibility to elect their own political representatives without being outvoted.
“The thing that is and will remain to be my state policy is care for Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Croatians have two homelands – the Republic of Croatia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. And that is why I will not stop until Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina are provided with the rights they are entitled to historically, politically and under the country’s constitution – and that is full equality and achieving their rights as a constituent people,” said Grabar-Kitarović, addressing a conference on the anniversary of the establishment of the ‘Prsten’ Association of Bosnia-Herzegovina Croats with its headquarters in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
She said that it was necessary to prevent scenarios in which the more numerous peoples can impose their representatives on Croats in elections.
“No one else should be allowed to elect representatives for the Croatian people in BiH. They are deluding themselves if they think that Croats will bend and disappear from Bosnia and Herzegovina. No, they won’t! With your help I will continue to be a guarantee that there will be no more ignoring of Croats in BiH which had happened in 15 years during the term of my two predecessors,” she underscored.
Grabar-Kitarović called on Croatian business people to invest in Bosnia and Herzegovina and help stop the emigration of young people from the country.
“That is why in fact, I am encouraging Croatian entrepreneurs to turn to investments in BiH, to establish new companies and to launch new investments so that our young people can be given a job and keep living here,” she added.
Grabar-Kitarović in particular underlined the significance of the Prsten association which was established by Croats from Bosnia and Herzegovina in an effort to preserve tradition and values and at the same time to assist their compatriots in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
During its 14 years of existence, the Prsten association, which has 3,500 member and 200 entrepreneurs, has set aside 15 million kuna in aid for institutions, and Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as an additional 3.5 million kuna for scholarships for poor students.
The Croatian president is due to stop in Skopaljska Gračanica near Bugojno and Vitez on her campaign trail in Bosnia and Herzegovina on Wednesday afternoon.
The incumbent president’s candidacy for her second term is supported by the ruling Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) and a few more political parties in Croatia.