"The members of the HDZ sent a very clear message today as to what kind of HDZ they wanted and which people they wanted at the helm of the party," Plenkovic said after the election results were released.
He thanked all HDZ members who took part in the intra-party election and voted for his team, saying the turnout was very good given the circumstances.
Plenkovic especially congratulated Tomo Medved on his election as deputy president as well as vice president Zdravka Busic, saying she symbolised the HDZ from the party's beginnings and the time of its first president Franjo Tudjman. He also congratulated Oleg Butkovic, Branko Bacic and Ivan Anusic on their election as vice presidents.
"This is now the inner leadership, people who are special, each in their own way, not necessary that we should think alike about everything. Most important is that we share the same values and the direction of the development of the HDZ and Croatia," Plenkovic said, confident that he will lead the party to victory in a parliamentary election later this year.
He said the votes of about 70,000 HDZ members gave him a good legitimacy to continue to run the party and that he expected the party's approval ratings to improve.
The HDZ is where it should be, dominating Croatia's political spectrum, on the centre-right, Plenkovic said. We share state-building, patriotic and Christian democratic values, he added.
Miro Kovac, who also ran for party president, congratulated Plenkovic on his re-election. The party's former deputy president, Milijan Brkic, who ran for a vice presidential position, was not elected.
Plenkovic won the 79% of the vote for the presidential position, and the election was organised in HDZ branches throughout the country and abroad in line with the one member-one vote principle.