Croatians are voting in a presidential election today, including Croats in neighbouring Bosnia, with official results due late tonight.
Among the electorate’s key concerns are the economic crisis, rising unemployment, low living standards and cleaning up corruption. There is also Croatia’s bid to join the EU.
Among the dozen candidates competing for the top job, Social Democrat Ivo Josipovic is one of the frontrunners. With a grounding in law and music, he has an average lead of 15 percentage points in opinion polls.
Milan Bandic, the powerful, populist mayor of
Zagreb, who was recently expelled from the Social Democrats, also expects to make a strong showing.
Another leading contender is businessman Nadan Vidosevic, a renegade from the ruling conservative Croatian Democratic Union.
Yet none of the candidates is likely to muster the 50 per cent of votes needed for outright victory. A run-off is scheduled for January 10. The winner will replace the former Yugoslavian republic’s veteran reformer Stjepan Mesic.