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Photograph: HINA/ Daniel KASAP / dk

The opposition Croatian People's Party (HNS) on Wednesday asked President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic and her office to inform the public as soon as possible about the details of her recent visit to the US, accusing her of harming the institution of the president through non-transparent behaviour and of "embarrassing Croatia" by giving statements outside the White House and in the streets of Washington.

The HNS said in a press release Croatia followed democratic practice and had democratically elected institutions, and that it was therefore extremely worrying that a week after the visit it was still completely unknown if the president had been on an official or a private visit.

The visit and the president's activities were not announced either transparently or clearly and it was not agreed with either the Foreign Ministry or the government which, under the constitution, the president must do, the HNS said.

The poorly prepared and announced trip was made worse by a subsequent attempt to present it as a "low-profile private visit with official contacts," notably when taking into account that it was paid by the taxpayers, the HNS said, adding that, with such behaviour, the president was causing harm to Croatia and its citizens, undermining the institution of the president, and making citizens lose trust in democratically elected institutions.

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