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Croatia goes to polls Sunday to elect president

11 candidates compete for country's top office

Talha Ozturk   | 22.12.2019
Croatia goes to polls Sunday to elect president

BELGRADE, Serbia

Croatian voters began heading to the polls Sunday in a presidential election which will shape the country for the next five years.

Polls opened at 7 a.m (0600GMT) for 3,854,774 registered voters to elect a president from a total of 11 candidates, four of which are independent, to compete for the country's top office.

Recent polls show a three-man race among President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, former Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic and musician-turned-politician Miroslav Skoro.

The race is exceptionally tight and the first round of voting could be more important than the second.

If Skoro manages to finish in the top two and makes it to a run-off Jan. 5, polling suggests he could become the president.

According to survey results, Kitarovic is expected to get 27%, Milanovic would receive 24% and Skoro have 23% when the vote is totaled.

A high number of indecisive voters is considered an important factor which may affect the outcome.

Kitarovic, who has campaigned on extreme nationalist rhetoric, is expected to win the second round with the social-democratic candidate Milanovic. But Skoro, who is also running a campaign full of ultra-nationalist rhetoric, is expected to win the election if he progresses to the second round against Kitarovic.

Regardless of the outcome, an ultranationalist president will rule Croatia for the next five years.

The first unofficial results are expected to be announced before midnight Sunday.

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