Clear Win For Josipovic in Croatian Presidential Election
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Ivo Josipovic, a law professor and music composer from the centre-left opposition or know as SDP in Croatia, won Croatia’s presidential run-off on Sunday night by a decisive margin. The 52-year-old president-elect, who will be inaugurated on February 18, is expected to hold the office when Croatia joins the European Union.
Addressing supporters after the official results were announced, he promised to serve “without compromise in the fight against corruption and organised crime”.
With nearly all the votes counted, Mr Josipovic had received 60.29 per cent of the ballot, against 39.71 per cent for Milan Bandic, his right-leaning populist opponent. Turnout among more than 4.4m registered voters was close to 50 per cent, higher than in the first round, when 12 contenders ran.
Both candidates in the run-off backed the former Yugoslav country’s drive to join the EU by 2012. Although the post is mostly ceremonial, it is influential: while parliament legislates, the president commands the armed forces and helps to set foreign policy.
Mr Josipovic – the nominee of the Social Democrats, Croatia’s largest opposition party – has promised to support the government’s crackdown on organised crime and corruption. His victory will help to keep EU accession on track, as he can be expected to support, rather than question, the bloc’s entry conditions.