- Title: Polls open in Croatian presidential election
- Date: 22nd December 2019
- Summary: ZAGREB, CROATIA (DECEMBER 22, 2019) (REUTERS) EXTERIORS OF POLLING STATION AT ELEMENTARY SCHOOL IN ZAGREB PEOPLE ARRIVING AT POLLING STATION / MAN OPENING DOOR SIGN ON DOOR READING "POLLING STATION NO. 103 AND 104" VOTERS IN POLLING STATION OFFICIAL CHECKING VOTER REGISTRATION LIST ELDERLY MAN WALKING WITH BALLOT VARIOUS OF PEOPLE VOTING LIST OF CANDIDATES ON WALL ELDERLY MAN CASTING BALLOT VARIOUS OF VOTERS AT POLLING STATION VARIOUS OF VOTERS CASTING THEIR BALLOTS (SOUNDBITE)(Croatian) RESIDENT OF ZAGREB WHO WISHED TO REMAIN UNNAMED, SAYING: "(I voted) based on how the candidates presented themselves, and also everyone has their own affinities... So we'll see." (SOUNDBITE)(Croatian) PENSIONER FROM ZAGREB, VESNA STANKOVIC, ANSWERING TO REPORTER'S QUESTION "WHAT TO DO YOU EXPECT FROM THE RESULTS?" SAYING: "I expect only a minimal change. Or perhaps what we already have." REPORTER ASKING "WHAT DID YOU BASE YOUR DECISION ON" "I applied the logic of math. We keep hoping. Hope dies last." INTERIOR OF POLLING STATION
- Embargoed: 5th January 2020 08:01
- Keywords: Elections Zagreb croatia polls opening
- Location: ZAGREB, CROATIA
- City: ZAGREB, CROATIA
- Country: Croatia
- Topics: Government/Politics,Elections/Voting
- Reuters ID: LVA001BB2447B
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Polls opened on Sunday (December 22) in the first round of Croatia's presidential election, with a three-way race expected to decide the second round matchup.
According to recent polling, incumbent conservative Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, former social democrat prime minister Zoran Milanovic, and a singer-turned-politician Miroslav Skoro are leading the pack in a crowded field of 11 candidates.
A poll published by state broadcaster HRT has forecast Grabar-Kitarovic, backed by the ruling Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) winning 28.3 per cent and Milanovic, supported by the Social Democrats (SDP), raking in 26.6 per cent, with a margin of error larger than the split between them.
Independent runner Miroslav Skoro, a singer-politician who briefly served as a HDZ lawmaker inn 2008 before splitting, and now running on a right-wing platform, is ranked third, at 20.7 per cent.
First elected with a tiny margin in 2014, Grabar-Kitarovic is now seeking a second five-year term.
Skoro had gained much ground in recent weeks and appeared on the verge of staging a major upset over either of the two front runners, but the prospect now appears to have dimmed.
Following an uneventful campaign, the election is also seen as a referendum on Grabar-Kitarovic's five years in office, which were marked by populist speeches and frequent courting of right-wing voters.
The president has largely ceremonial powers in Croatia, with most of the authority in the hands of parliament and the government. But, both major parties, the HDZ and the SDP, would receive a boost from a triumph by their candidates ahead of parliamentary elections due in 2020.
(Production: Boris Kavic, Chiara Rodriquez)
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