Tuesday, December 14, 2004

[ELECTION 2005] Signatures As A Sign?

(Note: This is going to be the first in the series of posts dedicated to the upcoming presidential election in Croatia.)

The presidential elections have ended its first formal stage. Around 450,000 citizens of Croatia have already participated in the process by supporting candidates with their signatures.

The number of signatures can, in some way, be an indicator of the final elections results. If this is the case, than the number of signatures for current President Stipe Mesić (Stipe Mesic) confirms his status of absolute favourite. He gathered 223,580 signatures. His opponent, Jadranka Kosor of HDZ, gathered 92,000.

The rest of the candidates are way below those numbers and for many the mere appearance on the ballot is a huge success.

Ljubo Ćesić Rojs (Ljubo Cesic Rojs), former Croatian Army general and one of Croatia's most colourful personalities, known for his far right views, has gathered 24,000 signatures.

Ivić Pašalić (Ivic Pasalic), once all-powerful Tudjman's domestic advisor, now reduced to the chairmanship of marginal far right HB party, has gathered 23,000 signatures.

Đurđa Adlešić (Djurdja Adlesic), popular mayor of Bjelovar and representative of moderate right-wing HSLS party in Sabor, has gathered 22,000 signatures.

Miroslav "Ćiro" Blažević (Miroslav "Ciro" Blazevic), legendary soccer manager of Croatian national team, ardent Tudjmanist and right-wing icon, has gathered around 20,000 signatures.

Slaven Letica, another former advisor of Tudjman, once hailed as Croatia's greatest intellectual celebrity and now a candidate of far right HSP party, has gathered 18,000 signatures.

Boris Mikšić (Boris Miksic), US businessman, gathered 17,000 signatures. He was the only one to bring two sets of signatures to State Electoral Commission.

Anto Kovačević (Anto Kovacevic), far right MS known for his patriarchal views, has gathered 16,200 signatures.

Doris Košta (Doris Kosta), famous Split attorney whose candidacy recently had her evicted from HSS party (which supports Mesić), has gathered 13,000 signatures.

Miroslav Rajh, 26-year old university student whose candidacy is merely designed to address students' issues, has gathered 12,000 signatures.

Two more independent candidates – Miroslav Kešer (Miroslav Keser) and Tomislav Petrak – have also submitted necessary 10,000 signatures. Couple of marginal candidates failed to bring that numbers, and many didn't bring any signature at all.

State Electoral Commission is going to rule on the signatures' validity in next 48 hours and publish the names of official candidates on Thursday.

Mesić's 223,850 represents the record number of signatures gathered for any candidate in Croatian history. So far, only Tudjman managed to gather more than 100,000.

But having a largest number of signatures gathered doesn't always guarantee a success, as Tudjman's foreign minister Mate Granić (Mate Granic) learned during 2000 campaign. Touted as an absolute favourite, he gathered 70,000 signatures only to have his poll lead collapse in three weeks and his campaign end in the first round.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

How democratic will elections be?

At this moment the key problem is state television whose first show about candidates tried to make all smaller candidates unimportant and funny. While main favorites Mesic and Kosor have no problem with showing up on television, other candidates can choose between being anonymous and being humiliated at Hloverka's show Otvoreno.

1:50 AM  

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