President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic said on Wednesday that by taking action against her for violating "the principles of discharge of public office and credibility of the President of the Republic" and not for a conflict of interest, the Conflict of Interest Commission had overstepped its powers and entered the sphere of political arbitration.
"This is supported by the fact that this decision was taken, what a coincidence, at the same session that discussed an obvious example of conflict of interest involving a senior government official. The President of the Republic is proud that all the funds were donated in accordance with the law to those in need, although she could have kept them for herself. Given that she did not in any way bring into question the principles of discharge of public office, the President of the Republic will do the same again," the President's Office said in a press release.
Grabar-Kitarovic has received HRK 1.17 million in compensation for the cost of her presidential campaign and has paid it to the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), the party that nominated her as presidential candidate, so that it could later be used for humanitarian purposes.
The commission disputes the fact that it took the president several months last year to decide who she would pay the money to and that she attended donation-giving ceremonies. In that way she continued to cooperate with her former party, which she should not have.
The commission also took action against outgoing Defence Minister Ante Kotromanovic for flying to Mali Losinj in a private plane because the flight was paid for by a company that seeks to acquire a piece of state-owned land on Losinj island.