vlada RH, orešković, karamarko, petrov, ministri.jpg
Photograph: HINA/ Damir SENČAR /ds

Croatia was on course towards snap polls on Friday, a day after the government of Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic fell in a no-confidence vote and only seven months after the last parliamentary elections.

The opposition Social Democrats (SDP) and smaller parties, creating a new majority in parliament, declared their intent to dissolve the legislature on July 15 and automatically trigger early elections,  the 24Sata daily reported online.

That scraps efforts by the conservative Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) to rebuild a governing coalition. 

Presently, 84 to 86 of the 151 legislators favour elections as the way out of the crisis, including those belonging to Most (Bridge), a newcomer reformist party that was the junior partner of the HDZ in Oreskovic's government.

Under Croatian law, elections must be held between 30 and 60 days after the dissolution of parliament. Delaying the move until July 15 would allow the vote to take place in September, after the busy summer season in the Adriatic tourist haven.

The HDZ and Most appointed the non-partisan Oreskovic in January, after difficult talks that followed elections in November, but they immediately began feuding, hampering the cabinet.

Most accused HDZ chief Tomislav Karamarko of corruption, demanding his resignation from the cabinet.

Oreskovic had asked Karamarko and Most leader Bozo Petrov to step down from their leadership positions in order to end the impasse, but the HDZ instead launched the no-confidence motion that toppled him in a 125-15 vote.

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