Croatia sets presidential election date for Dec. 22

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ZAGREB, Croatia (AP) — Croatia’s government says the European Union nation will hold a presidential election on Dec. 22.

The government formally set the date Thursday for the vote seen as a test of popularity for the ruling conservatives.

President Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic is seeking a second term, and will be challenged by former left-leaning Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic.

Grabar Kitarovic enjoys the support of the governing Croatian Democratic Union, while Milanovic is the candidate of the main opposition Social Democratic Party.

Also is the race are singer Miroslav Skoro and a former judge Mislav Kolakusic, who has gathered support pledging to fight corruption.

Opinion polls have shown Grabar Kitarovic as the favorite but suggest no candidate will win an outright victory. If that happens, a presidential runoff vote will be held on Jan. 5.

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