Croatian court rejects Miksic's appeal
Ivo Scepanovic, Special To The Star Tribune
January 6, 2005 CROA0106
SPLIT, CROATIA -- The Croatian Constitutional Court on Wednesday turned down the election appeal of Minnesota businessman and Croatian presidential candidate Boris Miksic.
The court concluded that Miksic's claims that he was cheated in Sunday's election were groundless.
"Boris Miksic did not present evidence for his claim that there were irregularities during the presidential elections," the court said, rejecting his request for a recount.
The court in Zagreb, the capital, also rejected Miksic's appeal on the fact that his observers were not allowed to be present as the State Election Commission tabulated votes on Sunday.
The court accepted the commission's explanation that the law requires the admittance only of representatives of political parties, nongovernment organizations and foreign observers during the counting of votes. Such a right has not been anticipated for representatives of independent candidates, such as Miksic, unless they do it via nongovernment organizations.
Speaking at a news conference in Split before the court released its ruling, Miksic said he would abide by the decision.
Miksic, who lives in North Oaks and holds U.S. and Croatian citizenship, also told his supporters something they wanted to hear: "I'll definitely stay in politics."
He said he will participate in local elections scheduled for April and pledged to provide more details at a public rally he has scheduled for Friday in Zagreb.
Miksic finished third in Sunday's election with 17.8 percent of the vote, barely missing out on a spot in a Jan. 16 runoff election with the first-place finisher, President Stipe Mesic.
Miksic cited the absentee vote as evidence of fraud. In voting abroad, including the United States, Miksic got only 9.9 percent of the vote.
"It is hard to understand that my percentage of votes was much better here in Croatia than, for example, in the United States," said Miksic, who left the Balkan region in 1973.