- Title: Croatians to vote in first round of presidential poll days before Christmas
- Date: 20th December 2019
- Summary: RIJEKA, CROATIA (DECEMBER 15, 2019) (REUTERS) SKORO GREETING MUSICIANS IN TRADITIONAL DRESS
- Embargoed: 3rd January 2020 10:48
- Keywords: Croatian Democratic Union Croatian presidential election Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic Miroslav Skoro Social Democrat Party Zoran Milanovic incumbent Croatian president
- Location: ZAGREB, BENKOVAC, OGULIN, RIJEKA, AND VUKOVAR, CROATIA
- City: ZAGREB, BENKOVAC, OGULIN, RIJEKA, AND VUKOVAR, CROATIA
- Country: Croatia
- Topics: Government/Politics,Elections/Voting
- Reuters ID: LVA008BAS6JI1
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Just days before Christmas, Croatian voters will head to the polls on Sunday (December 22) in the first round of presidential elections that see the two main candidates in a tight race, trailed by an independent.
An opinion poll published by public broadcaster HRT on Thursday (December 19) showed 28.3% support for incumbent conservative Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, backed by the governing Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ).
Her main challenger Zoran Milanovic, a former prime minister and candidate for the Social Democratic Party (SDP) was close behind with 26.6%.
Independent candidate and musician Miroslav Skoro came in third with 20.7% support, according to HRT's poll.
To win in the first round a candidate would have to win more than 50% of the vote. A run-off is expected to take place on Jan. 5.
Croatia's president holds largely ceremonial powers, with government largely in the hands of parliament and the government.
However both HDZ and SDP are hoping a win for the presidency will boost their chances in parliamentary elections in 2020.
(Production: Boris Kavic, Antonio Bronic, Branko Filipovic, Boki Babic, Lewis Macdonald)
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