There were no fireworks and no joyous, flag-waving crowds, although the president, prime minister and speaker of parliament did at least raise a glass to the strains of Ode to Joy. Yesterday two-thirds of Croats who took part in a referendum on whether their country should join the European Union voted “yes”, more than had been expected. The low turnout of 43%, however, meant that only a third of the electorate actually voted in favour. “It’s not great, but it’s legal,” was the accurate if underwhelming summing-up of Zoran Milanović, the new prime minister. Still, not a single one of Croatia’s 15 regions voted against. Indeed, one could fairly make the case that given the steady stream of bad news from the euro zone, Balkan Greece and Croatia’s neighbour Hungary, a two-thirds vote in favour of joining was something of an achievement.
Articles about voting issues in the Republic of Croatia.
Croatia’s state referendum commission says a majority of Croats have voted in favor of joining the debt-stricken European Union. Officials say that with about 30 percent of the ballot calculated, about 67 percent of those who took part in the referendum Sunday answered “yes” to the question: “Do you support the membership of the Republic of Croatia in the European Union?”
Croats are voting Sunday on whether to join the European Union. If they approve the measure, as many expect, Croatia will become the 28th EU member – a symbolic victory for both the Balkan nation and for Brussels. Croatia’s referendum on joining the European Union comes as the block faces one of its biggest crises ever – the sovereign debt and banking problems that have migrated from one eurozone country to another. There is a sizable chunk of Croats opposed to joining the EU. On Saturday police clashed with protesters in Zagreb at an anti-EU rally that gathered hundreds of people.
According to preliminary incomplete results of Sunday’s parliamentary election, released at midnight by the State Election Commission (DIP), the centre-left coalition led by the Social Democratic Party (SDP) has won a majority of votes in seven constituencies, while the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) and its coalition partners the Croatian Civic Party (HGS) and the Democratic Centre (DC) have won the most votes in three constituencies and in the constituency designed for Croatians living outside Croatia.
The OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) today opened a limited observation mission to monitor the 4 December parliamentary elections in Croatia.
ODIHR was invited by Croatia’s government to observe the elections, in line with the country’s commitments as a participating State of the OSCE. The mission is headed by Ambassador Geert-Hinrich Ahrens and consists of ten international experts based in Zagreb and six long-term observers to be deployed to the country’s regions.
The mission will assess these elections for compliance with OSCE commitments and other international standards for democratic elections, as well as national legislation. Observers will follow campaign activities, the work of the election administration and relevant state bodies, implementation of the legislative framework, and the resolution of election disputes.
Croatian Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor told reporters after the meeting that the idea was to hold the vote before Dec. 9, when Croatia is supposed to sign an accession deal with the EU, followed by a Croatian referendum on joining the 27-nation bloc. On July 15, the representatives of Croatia’s ruling coalition in Zagreb set Dec. 4 as the date of the next parliamentary election.
Croatian Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor told reporters after the meeting that the idea was to hold the vote before Dec. 9, when Croatia is supposed to sign an accession deal with the EU, followed by a Croatian referendum on joining the 27-nation bloc.
Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor together with the coalition partners is expected to set the parliamentary election dates sometime this week, daily 24 Sata writes.
According to some sources, 20 or 27 November are under consideration. Former Prime Minister Ivo Sanader is also expected to be extradited to Croatia after having been held in detention in Austria since December.