Croatia goes to the polls today in elections which seem likely to offer President Stipe Mesic a second term in office.
It is a second-round of voting – in the first earlier this month Mesic fell just short of the 50 per cent needed to secure an outright victory.
His opponent is Jadranka Kosor of the governing HDZ party. The former journalist who is the country’s deputy prime minister won 20 per cent of the vote last time round.
A poll on Friday indicated she had gained little ground on Mesic. It put her on 24 per cent against 56 for Mesic.
He may not share her conservative political values but both are united in advocating Croatia’s entry to the European Union.
The winner can expect to steer the country to membership of the bloc within their presidency.
The process is already underway. The two sides have already signed an agreement which paves the way for entry negotiations to begin in March.
The talks should be completed in 2007.