First Presidential Debate of Upcoming Elections Held on RTL

Total Croatia News

After the first planned presidential debate between the two candidates in Croatia hasn’t happened on N1 television on Sunday, on Monday evening, their first debate in the runoff round of the presidential elections was held on RTL Television.

Incumbent Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, HDZ candidate, and Zoran Milanović, former Prime Minister and SDP candidate, met in a presidental debate hosted by Damira Gregoret and Ivan Vrdoljak. They were not given the questions and topics to be discussed in advance, so they were not able to rehearse their answers and reactions.

The debate ended up lasting well over two hours, and on several occasions both candidates wondered out-loud if the audience was already fed up with their answers.

Supposedly, Milanović’s team wanted to stop the debate because they thought that it was running for too long, although after the debate was over the team denied that. The format was somewhat unorthodox, so they got to ask each other questions. Many of the questions asked in the debate had nothing to do with the actual duties of the President of Croatia, so it seemed that they fought on principle more than on actual topics they can influence when one of them wins the presidency.

As is quite customary in Croatian politics, there was a lot of talk about the past, including their relationships to former President Tuđman and former Prime Minister Sanader, who was today found guilty in a major court case against him. The numerous online commenters, as well as Ankica Mamić and Božo Skoko for Večernji list commented that neither of the candidates really made a great impression in the presidential debate, as Milanović seemed much more aggressive, while the incumbent President failed to assert herself more.

It is expected that the two will debate at least twice more before Sunday, January 5, 2020, when the runoff will take place, and Croatians will get to chose between the two candidates.


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