Croatian presidential hopeful cries foul

Up to 2000 people have gathered at a protest organised by Croatian independent presidential candidate Boris Miksic who says there were irregularities in the weekend election.

    Miksic said Sunday's election was a fraud

    Miksic is now demanding a new vote count.

    Sunday's vote was a "fraud and a slap in Croatian people's

    face", Miksic told the crowd that gathered briefly at the main Ban

    Josip Jelacic square.

    A wealthy US-Croatian businessman, Miksic says he should have

    finished second in the election and be the one to face incumbent

    President Stipe Mesic in the run-off on 16 January.

    A Euro-sceptic outsider on Croatia's political scene, he 

    was the biggest surprise of the elections, placing third with

    17.8% of the vote.

    Centrist Mesic won 48.9% of the votes, and is to face

    Deputy Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor of the ruling

    conservative Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) in the run-off.

    Protests

    Kosor garnered 20.3% of the votes, according to results from

    nearly all polling stations on Monday.

     

    Stipe Mesic (L) and Jadranka
    Kosor will face off for president

    But Miksic complained he was not allowed to have his own observers

    within the electoral commission counting the votes.

    He stressed exit

    polls had put him ahead of Kosor. But the electoral commission threw

    out his complaint.

    In several other Croatian towns, Miksic's supporters gathered

    peacefully to protest against the election results, national radio reported.

    Some thirty gathered in the Adriatic towns of Split and Zadar

    respectively, and several dozens in the northern town of Cakovec as well

    as in the eastern town of Slavonski Brod.

    There were no incidents reported during the protests.

    Miksic said he would file a complaint with the constitutional

    court.

    SOURCE: AFP


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