Newly-elected President Zoran Milanovic: Image from Wikimedia Commons

Croatia’s incumbent President was ousted by a left-wing former Prime Minister in yesterday’s run-off election.

Zoran Milanovic, who served as the nation’s Prime Minister from 2011 to 2016, won 52.7 percent of the vote and pledged to make Croatia tolerant and to turn the page on its independence war in the 1990s.

The right-wing incumbent, Kolindar Grabar-Kitarovic, had attempted to unite a splintered right-wing and win back voters who had backed nationalist folk musician Miroslav Škoro in the first round two weeks ago.

Although Škoro provoked controversy by claiming the number killed at the country’s Jaesnovac concentration camp in the Second World War was intentionally inflated, he came third, narrowly missing out on reaching the run-off election.

Despite his defeat, the independent candidate hinted he will run in the parliamentary election, due to take place later this year, and will work on ‘giving Croatia back to the people’.

The result comes days after the country, the most recent to join the European Union, took over the bloc’s presidency as Brexit, climate change, and membership for other Balkan states continue to dominate the agenda.