Jadranka Kosor became Croatia’s first woman prime minister vowing to revive the country’s bid to join the European Union and tackle the economic crisis.
The journalist-turned-politician and her centre-right cabinet were approved by 83 deputies in a late night vote in the 153-member parliament. Forty-five voted against, no one abstained while the remaining were not present.
Kosor is succeeding Ivo Sanader who, after holding Croatia’s most powerful political position for the past six years, shocked the nation by resigning last week, pushing the country into political turmoil.
The 56-year-old Kosor is taking up the mantle amid deep economic woes that have the country facing its worst crisis since its war of independence from the former communist Yugoslavia in the early 1990s.
Her appointment is seen as controversial, but she has pledged to tackle Croatia’s economic struggles and its stalled bid to become the European Union’s 28th member by 2011.
The EU accession talks have been blocked by Slovenia due to a long-standing border row between the two former Yugoslav republics.
In a speech to parliament before the vote, Kosor said she was convinced that EU talks would eventually be unblocked and called on EU officials to help resolve the issue.