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Cablegate: Zagreb Daily Report - December 23, 2009

VZCZCXRO3919
PP RUEHIK
DE RUEHVB #0756 3571042
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 231042Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY ZAGREB
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9762
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

UNCLAS ZAGREB 000756

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL HR
SUBJECT: Zagreb Daily Report - December 23, 2009

1. (U) Latest Polling Confirms Lead for Josipovic; Bandic and
Vidosevic Battle for Second Slot:
On December 22 the polling firm PULS released its last poll before
the first round vote on Sunday December 27, which confirmed that Ivo
Josipovic of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) is the strong
favorite for a spot in the second round runoff election. In the
poll, Josipovic received 31 percent support of domestic voters,
while ex-SDP member and current Mayor of Zagreb, Milan Bandic,
received 17.4 percent. In third place was ex-member of the Croatian
Democratic Union (HDZ) and current head of the Croatian Chamber of
Commerce, Nadan Vidosevic, with 11.9% support, while Andrija
Hebrang, candidate of the HDZ, was in fourth place with 9.3 percent.
The poll was conducted in mid-December and utilized 1200
respondents, but is reflective only of voters in Croatia-proper.
The same day the poll was released Croatian public TV held the last
presidential debate prior to the vote, but with twelve participants
and only two hours most candidates only had time to rehash their
main campaign themes. However, Bandic-who campaigned heavily in
recent weeks throughout Bosnia-mentioned that if the Butmir
negotiations did not produce a solution that improved the situation
of Croatians residing in Bosnia then Bosnian-Croat politicians
should float a proposal for a third entity. The electoral law
forbids campaigning the day before the vote so all campaign activity
will cease after midnight on Christmas Day. However, because of the
proximity of the vote to the Christmas holidays most campaign events
will wind up on the afternoon of Christmas Eve. Election law
further stipulates that the first reporting of the election
results-preliminary results or exit poll forecasts-must wait until
after midnight on the day of voting.


WALKER

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