First public debate of presidential candidates turned into a mockery

First public debate of presidential candidates turned into a mockery

Zagreb, December 22, 2014/ Independent Balkan News Agency

By Marija Avramovic

In the first debate of the presidential election campaign, held on Sunday evening on RTL Television, all candidates agreed that the economy is the biggest problem of the country, accusing each other for the economic crisis.

Ivo Josipovic opposes monetisation, Ivan Vilibor Sinčić announces “wiretapping of criminals” and the introduction of a semi-presidential system, while Milan Kujundzic and Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic intend to introduce the veterans into the Constitution.

On Kujundzic’s charges for inactivity, Josipovic responded that Kujundzic was “a member of one of the most corrupt government ever in Croatia”, and that “he is the last one who has the right to criticise”.

To the HDZ’s candidate Josipovic remonstrated that the government in which she worked, Ivo Sanader’s government, was “the worst government in the history of Europe”.

Nevertheless, the Croatian media today are full of negative comments about the first public confrontation of all presidential candidates.

“With the concept of today’s debate of four presidential candidates, RTL Television has decided to support the entertainment character of the current election campaign for president of the republic”, t-portal wrote.

“Kolinda and Josipovic behaved quite geeky, and Kujundzic and Sinčić were as bombers”, political scientist Andjelko Milardovic commented the candidates in the first TV debate, which he finds was not at the appropriate level.

“Josipovic pursued the attitude of discommendation to no one in order to gain some points. But if we are talking about political campaign, he must have a clear position and if someone asks him to assess the government he must have a strong opinion about it”, Milardović said.

He thinks that the debate was a humdrum and unconvincing, without any important issues and that it was more on the level of parliamentary elections than presidential.

“The debates of this type will have very little effect”, concluded Milardović.

According to him, the whole debate should have been clearly and unambiguously reduced to four essential questions.

“That way, we could get a complete picture of what they are offering. What, for example, differs them on foreign policy, how are they articulated in their domestic affairs? Someone has well noted that they were on a quiz show”, added Milardović.

“I honestly think that these debates are not crucial. People have had views on actors of the political process for a long time, which is a more powerful weapon than any type of confrontation at the level of political spectacle and than any survey of public opinion. I absolutely do not believe in polls for they make people choose between only two candidates”, concluded Milardović.