Croatia’s Incumbent President Josipovic to Face Challenger Kitarovic in Run-offSoutheast Europe | December 28, 2014, Sunday // 21:53| views
Croatian President Ivo Josipovic gives a statement to the media after casting his vote at a polling station during the presidential elections in Zagreb, 28 December 2014. Photo EPA/BGNES
Croatia’s incumbent head of state Ivo Josipovic and his main challenger, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, will face each other in a run-off presidential vote on 11 January 2015, an exit poll showed on Sunday.
According to the exit poll by independent Nova TV announced after voting in the first round closed, Croatian President Ivo Josipovic, aligned with the Social Democrats (the dominant party in the current government coalition) won 38.9% of the vote.
Grabar-Kitarovic, running for the main opposition party, the conservative Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), followed with 38.1%.
The vote for president is seen as a key test for the centre-left government which has faced criticism for its failure to halt economic decline more than a year after Croatia joined the EU and its inability to tackle high unemployment.
The other two candidates running on Sunday trailed far behind.
Milan Kujundzic, running on a right-wing populist ticket, and Ivan Sincic, an independent, won 5.7% and 15.6%, respectively.
Preliminary official results are expected to be released later on Sunday evening.
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