The Slovenia Times

Slovenian community member re-elected to Croatian parliament

Barbara Antolić Vupora, an ethnic Slovenian, re-elected to the Croatian parliament. Photo: Hina/STA

Slovenian minority member Barbara Antolić Vupora has been re-elected to the Croatian parliament on a party ticket, although officially the community will be represented by a member of the Bosniak minority.

Running for the Social Democratic Party of Croatia (SDP), Antolić Vupora was re-elected in the 17 April election, four years after becoming the first member of the Slovenian minority to make it to the Sabor in its 30 year history.

Antolić Vupora is the head of the SDP branch in Varaždin, where she has also been an active member of the minority.

"I am happy that I can represent Slovenian's interests through the party," she told the Slovenian Press Agency.

She will continue to advocate for Slovenians in Croatia, but noted that her role will depend on whether the SDP will be part of the ruling coalition or opposition.

"Hard work lies ahead and I believe much more effort will be needed from Slovenia too for the Slovenian minority in Croatia to become more active," the MP said.

The Slovenian minority has never had its own representative in the Croatian parliament and has not had a significant political presence at the local level, said Antolić Vupora. As a result, the minority's activities have not expanded beyond cultural centres to economy, education and other areas.

The Slovenian minority did not have its candidate in the special electoral unit for ethnic minorities in Croatia. Armin Hodžić, a member of the Bosniak minority, was elected to represent the Albanian, Bosniak, Montenegrin, Macedonian and Slovenian minorities. He will replace Ermina Lekaj Prljaskaj.

Antolić Vupora hopes working with Hodžić will bring more results than with Lekaj Prljaskaj. "In all these years we were not able to solve the issue of the Slovenian Home in Zagreb, which wanted to buy the building it was operating in. I think we could have resolved this if she advocated for it a bit more," said Antolić Vupora.


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