Monday, 7 November 2011

Croatia's Kosor: An anti-corruption crusader?

When Ivo Sanader suddenly resigned the premiership, out of the blue, in the summer of 2009, it looked very fishy.  He appointed his deputy to replace him, apparently expecting loyalty, but Jadranka Kosor proved to be independently minded.  One of the defining traits of her leadership has been a clampdown on corruption at the highest levels.

Six months later, Sanader was trying to get back into politics.  Some argued that it was the desire to gain immunity that was driving that, not a sudden realisation that he really did want to be the servant of the Croatian people.  A year after that, files released by wikileaks revealed that Sanader was being investigated on allegations of corruption.  The Croatian authorities issued a warrant for his arrest, and he was apprehended a couple of days later in Austria.  Today he was charged with accepting bribes, bringing the total to six investigations against him, covering corruption, illegal party financing, and now bribery.

Kosor hasn't done all the investigating herself of course.  Croatia's Anti-Corruption Office, USKOK, deserves that credit.  And she did face considerable pressure from the EU to let them get on with their job.  But still, it is a brave politician who takes on her political allies and makes them into enemies.  Not many politicians do it, and even fewer get any credit for it.

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