Sunday, October 10, 2004

Presidential Race Gets More Interesting

In this year's race for Croatian presidency the issue is not who is going to be the next President. The real issue is who is willing to have his or his party's political prestige evaporated after being pummeled by Stjepan Mesić (Stjepan Mesic) at the polls.

According to the PULS polls made for state-run HRT, most Croatians (57 %) believe that no candidate at this time can beat Mesić.

One of those who disagree with that notion is Miroslav "Ćiro" Blažević (Miroslav "Ciro" Blazevic), legendary soccer manager who, among other things, led Croatian national team to bronze medal at 1998 World Cup. "Ćiro" is one of the more colourful personalities of Croatian public life who used to be one of the fanatical supporters of Tudjman during late President's reign. Because of that he became the focal point of all those Croatians who can't stand Mesić and view anything that occurred in Croatia after 2000 as national treason.

He recently announced that he would run for president and also spoke against Croatian entry into EU – one of the first more-or-less "mainstream" politicians/public personalities to do so.
Most Croatian pundits believe that "Ćiro" may make this race more interesting, but the outcome is still very predictable. Again, HRT poll suggests the same. In a matchup between Mesić and "Ćiro", current President can expect 72% to Blažević's 12 % (18 % are undecided).


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