More instability may loom for Croatia after another hung election

More instability looms ahead for Croatia after Sunday's snap parliamentary poll again produced no clear-cut winners, according to exit polls.

The two main blocs, grouped around the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) were running neck and neck in projections with 58 to 57 out of the 151 seats, state TV HRT reported.

The result may yet swing either way by a few seats.

The reformist party Most again emerged as the third largest, with 11 seats, and is again, as after elections held just 10 months ago, set to play kingmaker in the governing coalition.

The projected result is a close replay of the most recent election, when HDZ won 59, SDP 56 and newcomers Most 17.

Most then negotiated a coalition with both big parties, before settling with the HDZ in January, only to topple the government in June, triggering snap polls.

Analysts already predicted the tight result, forecasting that it may lead to more instability and possibly repeat elections already in the spring of 2017.

On Sunday, Croatian voters apparently showed their discontent with politicians by largely staying away from polling stations: the turnout was significantly weaker than last time, in November 2015.

Two-thirds into election day, 37.2 per cent of the electorate had voted, 9 percentage points down from the figure at the corresponding time in November 2015. Then the final turnout was 60 per cent.

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.

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Last update: Mon, 12/09/2016 - 21:22
Last update: Sun, 11/09/2016 - 19:45
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