Social Democrat, Ivo Josopovic, has won the first round of the Croatian Presidential elections. He polled over 32 per cent of the vote, but did not get the 50 per cent needed for an outright victory. Running on an anti-corruption platform, the law professor will now take part in a run-off ballot on January 10th.
His opponent in the next round will be his former party colleague, Milan Bandic. Bandic, who is running as an independent candidate, is the mayor of Zagreb. He is supported by liberal and conservative voters, and managed to win almost 15 per cent of the vote. Political commentators are expecting him to prove a strong challenge to Josopovic.
Both men managed to beat the candidates from the ruling HDZ party, who only managed to come in third, fourth and fifth places. Analysts are saying that this has sent a message that people are fed up with high unemployment and low living standards.
Bandic and Josopovic both say they are committed to gaining EU membership for Croatia.