The Croatian government decided to call a presidential election for 28 December 2014, and in case that none of the candidates wins more than 50 percent of the vote, the first two vote-getters will compete in a run-off 14 days later, that is on 11 January 2015.
The president is directly elected for a five-year term on the basis of universal suffrage, through a secret ballot, and there is a limit of two terms that can be served by the same person.
This will be the sixth election for Croatia’s head of state since the country gained independence in 1991.
The first president, Franjo Tudjman, won the polls in 1992 and in 1997. He died during his second term on 10 December 1999. Stjepan Mesic won the presidential election in January 2000 and was re-elected in January 2005. He was succeeded by Ivo Josipovic who was the winner of the first round of voting on 27 December 2009 and of the second round held on 10 January 2010.
As for the forthcoming election, candidacies have so far been announced by the incumbent President Ivo Josipovic, Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), Milan Kujundzic of the Alliance for Croatia, former Croatian Party of Rights (HSP) leader Anto Djapic, official receiver Ivan Rude, and member of Parliament Ivan Grubisic.
Any citizen of Croatia aged 18 or over may be a candidate in a presidential election, provided that they submit signatures of 10,000 voters supporting them. The endorsements are required in form of a list containing name, address, personal identification number and voter signature.
The President of Croatia is the head of state and chief representative of the Republic of Croatia in the country and abroad, and is also the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces.