Friday, March 28, 2003

Too Early to Tell

Ivo Sanader, leader of HDZ, already sees himself like next Croatian prime minister, but his optimism might not be justified.

International Republican Institute (IRI) has recently published results of extensive Croatian public opinion survey which puts new light on widely-held belief that HDZ would win next election. The only certain thing is that HDZ would come out of next elections as the strongest Croatian party, but the support among electorate is simply not enough to form government by itself. To make things worse, only three parties are likely to break through 5% barrier and have representatives in next Sabor and all three – SDP, HSS and HNS – are members of current coalition. SDP is barely holding the lead over HNS, party most attacked by HDZ opposition and probably liked by anti-HDZ voters for that very reason.

Even more telling is enormous popularity of Stipe Mesić (Stipe Mesic) who maintains favour of formidable 56 % of electorate. His strong position is, however, easy to explain with his constitutional emasculation – Mesić is free to criticise Račan's (Racan's) government and he doesn't take responsibility for its massive failures.


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