Croatia's conservatives win snap poll, face hard talks

The conservative Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) won snap parliamentary elections at the weekend, but the party faces coalition talks with some difficult partners after its previous government proved to be short-lived. 

With nearly all the ballots counted Monday morning, the HDZ has 61 of 151 seats, holding a larger-than-expected margin over the Social Democratic Party (SDP), which secured 54.

In Sunday's election, the reformist party Most again emerged as the third force in parliament with 12 seats, again allowing it to play the role of kingmaker. 

After the last elections in November, Most negotiated with both big parties, before entering into a coalition with the HDZ nearly three months later.

That alliance crumbled after five months amid corruption allegations and with none of the reform promises met, leading the small party to topple the government and effectively force the HDZ to oust it leader, Tomislav Karamarko.

The new party leader, Andrej Plenkovic, immediately sought to dispel worries about further instability.

"I guarantee that the next Croatian government will be stable," he said declaring victory late Sunday. "Already tomorrow we will begin concrete negotiations for a stable cabinet."

The HDZ will need the support of more than just the Most to secure at least 76 votes in the legislature. However, the odds of it forming a coalition look good, with eight legislators with reserved seats representing ethnic minorities expected to join, bringing the tally to 81.

On Sunday, 52 per cent of the 3.8 million voters cast ballots, 9 per cent down from last elections, demonstrating their discontent with the politicians following a campaign largely focused on political smearing.

In depth coverage

Live blog: Croatian parliamentary election 2016

The State Electoral Commission (DIP) on Monday released complete results of Sunday's early parliamentary election, confirming the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) as the relative election winner.

Read more
Last update: Mon, 12/09/2016 - 21:22

HDZ leader: Talks on stable government start now

Preliminary results of Croatia's early parliamentary election, released late on Sunday night, showed that the HDZ won 61 seats in the 151-seat parliament, while its main rival, the People's Coalition led by the Social Democratic Party (SDP), captured 54 seats. The Bridge party came third with 12 seats.

Read more
Last update: Mon, 12/09/2016 - 02:16

Bridge gives HDZ and SDP 5 days to respond to its demands

The leader of the Bridge party, Bozo Petrov, gave Croatia's two largest parties, the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) and the Social Democratic Party (SDP), five days to declare their opinions on the guarantees which his party had demanded in exchange for its support to a new government.

Read more
Last update: Mon, 12/09/2016 - 02:15

Milanovic: Croatia needs a stable government

After the State Election Commission released preliminary results of the September 11 early parliamentary election at midnight, Social Democratic Party (SDP) leader Zoran Milanovic early on Monday morning addressed his party's members and supporters, repeating several times in his address that Croatia needed a stable government and that the situation would be clearer in the morning after all ballots were counted.

Read more
Last update: Mon, 12/09/2016 - 01:26
Last update: Mon, 12/09/2016 - 10:03

More from Croatia

Remaining Kiowa Warrior helicopters for Croatian army delivered

Eleven OH-58D Kiowa Warrior military helicopters were delivered to the Croatian Air Force base in Zemunik on...

Croatia needs change and SDP must start it, says opposition leader

Newly elected Social Democratic Party (SDP) president Davor Bernardic said in Zagreb on Saturday that Croatia needed...

Minister says buying controlling interest in INA worth the challenge

State property Minister Goran Maric said in an interview with the Jutarnji List daily on Saturday that the INA oil...

Croatian foreign ministry target of hacker attack, classified info not compromised

The Croatian Foreign and European Affairs Ministry has discovered that during the term of the previous government...

Museum of tastes opens in Osijek

A museum of tastes was formally opened in Osijek by Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic on Friday on the occasion of...