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Opposition lawyer wins Croatia presidential runoff, exit polls show

According to exit polls, Social Democrat law professor, Ivo Josipovic, won more than 60 percent of the vote in Sunday's runoff against Milan Bandic, the populist mayor of Croatia's capital, Zagreb.

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Croatian presidential candidate Ivo Josipovic of Social Democrats gestures, after receiving exit polls results at his campaign headquarters in Zagreb, Croatia, Sunday.

Filip Horvat/AP

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Croatian voters have firmly decided in favor of Social Democrat law professor, Ivo Josipovic, as Croatia's third president, according to exit polls.

Mr. Josipovic won more than 60 percent of the vote in Sunday's runoff against Milan Bandic, the populist mayor of Croatia's capital, Zagreb, who left the opposition Social Democrats to campaign as an independent.

"We expected to win, but not by such a margin," said Igor Dragovan, secretary general of the Social Democratic party.

The mood in the Bandic camp was subdued, but campaign director Dusko Ljustina said he would not concede defeat until the count was completed in full.

Mr. Bandic improved on his 14.8 percent share in the 12-way first round contest to take 35.4 percent, according to exit polls, but was unsuccessful in mobilizing the mass of less well-educated voters he needed for victory.

Low turnout

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