vesna pusić - izbori.jpg
Photograph: HINA/ Lana SLIVAR DOMINIĆ/ lsd

The leader of the Croatian People's Party (HNS), a member of the SDP-led "Croatia is Growing" coalition, on Monday expressed satisfaction with how the HNS fared in Sunday's parliamentary election, and warned that there was no need to count the chickens before they are hatched, while she called for "level-headed talks" on the next government in Croatia.

The HNS and the "Croatia is Growing" coalition have some programme points in common with Bridge, an alliance of independent slates, and "the shared future responsibility for Croatia", Vesna Pusic told a news conference.

"When it comes to the next government, I believe that with a decent and rational approach the HNS and 'Croatia is growing', together with the IDS (Istrian Democratic Party), stand a good chance of reaching agreement with Bridge," Pusic said, warning against premature celebrations.

"We should seek programme points we have in common and get to work for the progress of Croatia ," Pusic said.

Incomplete results of Sunday's parliamentary vote show that, after 99.79% of ballots have been counted, the Patriotic Coalition, led by the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), has won 59 seats in the parliament, the SDP-led Croatia Is Growing coalition has won 56 seats, the Bridge alliance , the biggest surprise of the election, has emerged third with 19 seats. The IDS is set to have three seats in the 151-seat legislature, the Croatian Democratic Party of Slavonia and Baranja (HDSSB) and Zagreb Mayor Milan Bandic's coalition two seats each, and the Successful Croatia coalition led by former President Ivo Josipovic and the Human Barrier one seat each.

Pusic said that the preference voting also proved the strength of the HNS, noting that HNS candidates Anka Mrak Taritas, Predrag Stromar, Matija Posavec and Ivan Vrdoljak mustered a considerable number of preference ballots.

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