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Ivo Josipovic elected as Croatia's new president

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Ivo Josipovic elected as Croatia's new president

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Opposition Social Democrat Ivo Josipovic has claimed a handsome victory in Croatia’s presidential election.

The 52-year-old law professor and composer won on an anti-corruption ticket and vowed to do his utmost to help the Balkan state gain EU entry by 2012.

He called for a fairer, less corrupt Croatia. “I strongly believe that we all want to live in a country where work is paid for and crime is punished…a country of social justice,” he said.

Josipovic beat off the challenge of the populist mayor of Zagreb, Milan Bandic. Bandic was magnanimous in defeat.

“I want to congratulate my colleague Ivo Josipovic on his win. I want to congratulate him and I want him to be a president for all, regardless of political colour, education and religion,” Bandic said.

The office is mainly ceremonial with limited powers on foreign policy, defence and the intelligence services, but none over the key areas of the economy and legislation.