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Croatia: Opposition Presidential Candidate Attacked

Zagreb, 6 June 1997 (RFE/RL) - A spokesman for Croatia's opposition Social Liberal party says its coalition candidate in June 15 presidential elections has a concussion and is in shock following an attack at a campaign rally in Pula yesterday.

At least one man in a military uniform assaulted Vlado Gotovac at the rally in the port city on the Istrian peninsula. News reports say Gotovac fell, hit his head on a loudspeaker, briefly lost consciousness, but then recovered enough to make a speech.

The 66-year-old party leader was then taken to a local hospital for treatment and later flown by helicopter to Zagreb for further medical checks. News reports say the attacker was immediately arrested. Incumbent candidate Franjo Tudjman has not commented on the attack.

Meanwhile, Social Democratic presidential candidate Zdravko Tomac said yesterday he wants to destroy, as he put it, "the myth that Croatia needs a leader who is half God and is the only one eligible to lead." Tomac's campaign van was stoned by protesters on the first day of the campaign last week.