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Polls open in Croatian presidential election runoff

Croatian presidential runoff taking place today

ZAGREB, 5 January 2020 – A total of 3.86 million eligible voters in Croatia and abroad are going to the polls today to vote in the presidential runoff between incumbent Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic and former prime minister Zoran Milanovic.

Polling stations opened at 7 a.m. on Sunday morning across Croatia and will be open in 47 countries around the world. Polling stations in Australia were first to open, whilst those in Los Angeles will be the last to open on Sunday afternoon Croatian time.

A record 24,333 observers will oversee today’s runoff. 

In the first round of voting on 22 December, neither of the 11 candidates secured an absolute majority (50% + 1 vote) required to win in the first round with Milanovic and Grabar-Kitarovic the top two candidates.

Milanovic, who was in office as prime minister from 2011-16, secured the most votes with 29.6%, with incumbent Grabar-Kitarovic winning 26.4% of the votes. The voter turnout in the first round was 51.19%.

By 11.30 a.m. today, 120,000 more people had voted than in the first election round on December 22, but less than five years ago, the State Election Commission said.

The State Electoral Commission will release the first results at 8 p.m. today in what is expected to be another close race. Back in 2015, Grabar-Kitarovic edged incumbent Ivo Josipovic after she won 50.74% of votes to Josipovic’s 49.26%.

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