Wednesday, January 12, 2005

[ELECTION 2005] Second Debate

Second televised presidential debate was held in Nova TV studio tonight at 20:00 CET. Candidates didn't disappoint and for one very simple reason – the expectations were so lowered after their first debate, so nobody saw this debate as some kind of unpleasant surprise.

The only exception and the only true disappointment was Miroslav Lilić (Miroslav Lilic), veteran TV personality, best known for breaking the news about Tito's death in 1980. To say that he didn't his job of moderator well is an understatement. What was supposed to be a debate about policies turned into two monologues – Kosor was describing successes of Sanader's cabinet and her ministry while Mesić went into long and detailed accounts of the last days of former Yugoslavia and his role in creation of new independent Croatia.

Mesić was again on the defensive, but he was slightly calmer and more relaxed than during the first debate. Kosor, on the other hand, failed to make serious blunder but her style didn't improve. I don't think that each of the candidates should worry about the debates having an impact on voters. Again, I don't think any of them is going to change his or her preference based on tonight's performance.

In the meantime, Miomir Žužul (Miomir Zuzul), Sanader's foreign minister who resigned shortly after the first round of presidential election, is the first high-ranking HDZ official to stray from the party line and express something other than complete optimism about Kosor's chances. In an interview for Globus he said that Kosor will have "great difficulties" in defeating Stipe Mesić (Stipe Mesic).

Žužul's minor heresy is understandable since he probably consider Kosor and her candidacy as the sole reason why he had to leave his post. If not for Kosor's surprisingly bad result, Sanader wouldn't to sacrifice his albeit and unpopular ally.


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