Croatia has had its first female president in Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, who polled 50.4 per cent of a tight run-off vote to defeat her incumbent rival, Ivo Josipovic, who got 49.6 percent of the vote. She is a conservative, an ex-foreign minister and former NATO official. In his first concession of defeat to the winner, President Josipovic said, “Grabar-Kitarovic won in a democratic battle and I congratulate her.” AFP says the 46-year old president-elect is the first female head of state chosen by voters in the largely patriarchal Balkans region since Kosovo’s Atifete Jahjaga was elected by parliament in 2011. She is saddle with the urgent task of kickstarting Croatia’s ailing economy. “I will not let anyone tell me that Croatia will not be prosperous and wealthy,” Grabar-Kitarovic told jubilant supporters in the capital, calling for national unity to tackle the economic crisis. Croatia has been faced with a six-year recession, for which the incumbent government lost its popularity with the people and accounting for Grabar-Kitarovic’s triumph.