After being re-elected on Saturday to lead the the Social Democratic Party (SDP) for the next four years, Zoran Milanovic said that anyone who thought that the fierce campaign would cause harm to the party was mistaken.
"It was a fair, fierce competition. However, whoever thinks that that has weakened the SDP is mistaken," Milanovic told the press and SDP members at the party's headquarters where he was greeted enthusiastically.
Milanovic is convinced that at these elections SDP has shown that it is "a modern, progressive and resistant European party that represents universal as well as traditional values."
"We have not become divided because when it comes to values and policies there are very few differences. There are some, but very few. We are not a monolith which when hit by something hard turns to dust. We are a rock...you can break off a piece but what remains is healthy and strong," he said and added that the party election was "just maintaining muscle and mental tone in the fight for power in Croatia, but for a democratic, fair government so that we go back to where we left 'Croatia that is growing'."
Milanovic's appeared together with his challenger Zlatko Komadina who congratulated Milanovic on his victory and reiterated that there were two candidates in the campaign but only one SDP.
"I regret that members didn't choose a change, however I have to respect their will," Komadina said and added that Milanovic had won fairly.
Komadina thanked everyone who went to the polls and "voted for social democracy," adding that he still saw himself in SDP in an "advisory role."
Even though it had been announced earlier that the party's electoral commission would release preliminary results of the election at 9pm, these were still not available. Unofficial information indicates however, that slightly more than half of the party's members took to the polls.