Ivo Josipovic greets his supporters after his win in the second round of Croatia's presidential elections, at his campaign headquarters in Zagreb, early January 11 2010.
Social Democrat Ivo Josipovic took more than 60 per cent of the vote in the second round of Croatia’s presidential elections on January 10 2010 to be elected head of state, defeating Zagreb mayor Milan Bandic, according to exit polls.
Josipovic (52), a professor in law and music composer, has pledged to fight corruption and to work for social justice. However, the post of president of Croatia has no substantial executive powers, with limited roles in foreign policy, defence and over the intelligence services.
The election took place against a background of the serious impact that the current crisis has had on the economy of Croatia, which aspires to join the European Union in the next few years, possibly in 2012.
The first round of the elections, on December 27 2009, saw a low turnout – ascribed to disillusionment among Croatians with politics – and Josipovic getting too few votes to secure a decisive majority.
Josipovic will succeed Croatian president Stjepan Mesic who leaves office on February 18 2010 after two five-year terms.