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BELGRADE, January 11. /TASS/. Croatia is gearing up for the second and final round of the presidential election on Sunday with voters set to decide between the two remaining candidates after the previous round two weeks ago.
The first round of the presidential election was held on December 29 and saw incumbent President Ivo Josipovic securing a total of 38.46% of the vote, which was a slight advantage over his closest contender Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic with her 37.22% of the votes. Two other candidates in the first round were left far behind them,
Candidates in the first round needed over 50% of the votes to avoid the runoff round and on Sunday both Josipovic of the Social Democratic Party and Grabar-Kitarovic of the center-right Croatian Democratic Union need a simple majority of the votes to win the election.
The president of Croatia, the youngest member state of the European Union, is elected to serve the term of five years and has the right to be re-elected for another consecutive term.
The pre-election campaign in Croatia was launched on December 9 and lasted 18 days. According to the State Election Commission, some 22,000 observers monitored the first round of the election and they did not report any sound violations at the polling stations.
The same amount of observers is expected during the runoff round on Sunday, or in other words there will be an average of four observers at each out of total 5,350 polling stations open in Croatia and abroad.