Croatia goes to the polls

Croatians are voting for president in an election marked by allegations of corruption that comes as the country tries to fight graft and smooth its entry into the European Union.

Twelve candidates are running to replace popular President Stipe Mesic, who helped discourage the nationalism promoted by his predecessor in the 1990s and encouraged a shift to the West, including joining Nato this year and preparing the former Yugoslav republic for membership in the EU.

Today’s vote follows a campaign focused on the two issues that most bother Croatians: economic recovery and the country’s widespread corruption.

Several of the candidates have themselves denied allegations of corruption.

The leading candidates are pro-Western and US-friendly.

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