Photograph: Hina/ Dario GRZELJ/ dag

Tomislav Karamarko was re-elected leader of the ruling Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) party at an election convention in Zagreb on Sunday, saying that during his new term he would demonstrate his patriotism by fighting to raise the standard of living in Croatia.

"We will fight for every job, for every investment, for every project and uncultivated field, for every young man and girl wishing to leave the country," Karamarko said in his address after the announcement of preliminary results, to loud applause from party members, government ministers, members of parliament and sympathisers.

Karamarko said that during his new term ideological debates would be put on the back burner. "Our position on every form of totalitarianism -- fascist, Nazi and communist -- is clear. We don't want to have any business with that. What we are interested in is the future of our children."

Karamarko was the only candidate for the post. According to preliminary results of the vote, announced after 70 percent of ballots were counted, he received 98.99 percent of votes. Of 207,456 members of the HDZ, 45.84 percent cast their ballots. It was the first time that the party had used the one-member-one-vote system.

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