Wednesday, January 05, 2005

[ELECTION 2005] Paola Poljak Between Rock and Hard Place

Paola Poljak, Croatian supermodel, former weathergirl and the host of Exclusiv show on RTL Televizija, could easily become one of the casualties of 2005 presidential election in Croatia.

However, what many people don't know is that Paola Poljak is also the chairman of HDZ Youth National Committee and member of HDZ Central Committe. Her political career was always overshadowed by her rapid rise in the realm of Croatian entertainment industry, especially television.

Paola Poljak managed to reconcile the two until the election. At one of Jadranka Kosor's ads Paola Poljak appeared among many Croatian singers, athletes, newspaper reporters and other celebrities endorsing Jadranka Kosor for Croatian President.

The leadership of RTL Televizija, which, until this point, hadn't seen anything wrong with employing the high ranking official of Croatian ruling party, suddenly decided to present their station as completely "apolitical and unbiased". Drenislav Žekić (Drenislav Zekic), one of RTL Televizija officials, said that his station's internal memo specifically forbade any of station's employees, including Paola Poljak, to take any part in presidential election by endorsing or supporting any of the candidates. He said that Poljak could "suffer consequences" if it turns out that she indeed agreed to have her name on Kosor's ad.

Mate Radeljić (Mate Radeljic), chief spokesman of Kosor's campaign, was more than eager to confirm that Poljak indeed supported Kosor. If RTL Televizija indeed fines of fires Poljak, this could serve Kosor's campaign very well by providing one of the martyrs for Kosor's cause.

Paola Poljak is, in most likelihood, not so enthusiastic about the whole situation. On one hand she, as a loyal soldier of the Party, is supposed to support HDZ candidate. If she does not, the least she could expect is to be removed from her lofty party position and have her political career, at least within HDZ, extinguished for good.

If she does stick with Kosor and HDZ she could lose her job within RTL Televizija. According to Slobodna Dalmacija, Paola Poljak has contacted their superiors at RTL Televizija and explained that that her name appeared on Kosor's ad without her knowledge or authorisation. Her story might be true because HDZ has a long practice of putting people's names on election ads without their authorisation. Two latest victims of that practice are singer Tereza Kesovija and Slobodna Dalmacija reporter Ante Tomić (Ante Tomic).

If Paola Poljak sacrifices her HDZ position for the sake of her job at RTL Televizija, it would make sense. Apart from modelling, she has spent many years training to become TV show hostess and the job at RTL Televizija, although far from the glamour and spotlight reserved for her colleagues Renata Sopek and Tatjana Jurić (Tatjana Juric), is a realisation of her dream. If she loses the job, she is unlikely to get another one at any of two other national televisions. Nova TV probably won't forgive her defection to RTL Televizija. State-run HRT would prefer to portray the image of independence by slamming the door in the face of ruling party's member, even when such face happens to be so beautiful.

When asked to clarify the situation situation by Slobodna Dalmacija, Paola Poljak refused. I'm confident that majority of people in her situation will do the same.


Blogger jean-pierre said...

I may be missing something here, but wouldn't her being fired for her standing by her political principles not make her a more interesting personality than just as a pretty face? Some other agency might see this as another way to market her appeal.

6:01 AM  
Blogger Dragan said...

She might be right for standing for her beliefs, but in today's Croatia few people could see it as an act of bravery since she happens to be high ranking official of a ruling party.

And there are many pretty faces in Croatia, most of them unburdened with politics.

10:32 AM  

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