Ivo Josipovic, Croatia’s president since 2010, and rival candidate Kolinda Grabar- Kitarovic are neck and neck as they go into the second round of a presidential election on Sunday (11 January).In the first round, held on 28 December, neither candidate won an outright majority. Josipovic, from the centre-left Social Democratic Party (SDP), won 38.6% of the vote. Grabar-Kitarovic, of the centre-right Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) and a former minister for foreign affairs and European integration, received 37.1%.The result was closer than expected, as opinion polls had made Josipovic the clear favourite. The main challenge for the two candidates will be to garner the votes of candidates that failed to make it to the second round. Milan Kujundžic, of the right-wing Croatian Dawn party, and Ivan Vilibor Sincic, a 24-year old independent, won a combined 23% of the vote. Sincic, whose main campaign message was an attack on the establishment, won 16.4% of the vote. He is advising supporters to spoil their ballot papers in the second round rather than back the remaining contenders.Croatia’s centre-left government has to deal with a weak economy that is suffering from a six-year recession and an unemployment rate of nearly 20%.In a televised debate on Sunday (4 January), Grabar-Kitarovic held Josipovic responsible for the parlous economic situation. “It is the five worst years in Croatian history,” she said.Josipovic countered by saying that Grabar-Kitarovic had failed to produce measures to improve the economy and increase employment.The position of president is largely ceremonial, although the outcome of Sunday’s vote is seen as a test ahead of the next general election, scheduled for February 2016.