Voter apathy marks Croatian snap poll

Croatian voters apparently showed their discontent with politicians in snap parliamentary polls Sunday by largely staying away from polling stations.

In the second election within 10 months, the turnout was only 37 per cent by 4.30 pm (1430 GMT), 9 percentage points down from the figure at the corresponding time in November 2015, election authorities said. 

The final turnout then reached 60 per cent.

Early elections were forced when the coalition of the conservative Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) and newcomer reformist party Most collapsed after just five months.

Pollsters and analysts predict further political instability in Croatia, with no clear-cut winner expected. There was already speculation that the election may need to be repeated yet again in the spring.

The HDZ and the opposition Social Democratic Party were tipped to run a neck-and-neck race, with the Most party likely to again come in third place and play the role of kingmaker in coalition talks.

The election campaign in the EU's newest member state has been largely focused on political smears, with little attention paid to concrete issues such as Croatia's fragile economic recovery.

Around 3.8 million voters are eligible to cast ballots from 7 am to 7 pm (0500-1700 GMT). Exit polls are expected shortly after voting ends, and first results within a few hours.

Last update: Sun, 11/09/2016 - 18:31
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