The opposition MOST party on Friday urged the government to start drafting new rules to ensure postal and electronic voting for the upcoming European Parliament elections and for the next national, presidential and local elections. The proposal was prompted by a European Union regulation recommending that the member states introduce electronic, postal and other forms of voting so that as many people would turn out for the vote and increase the legitimacy of elections.
Croatian conservatives campaigning for a change in election laws submitted enough signatures to parliament to call a referendum on reducing the legislative rights of ethnic minority groups, conservative group said on Wednesday. The group said the proposal called for reducing the number of lawmakers in parliament from 150 to a maximum 120. It also would reduce the number of MPs representing minorities and ban them from voting on crucial issues, such as government formation and budget. A vote may be held in September or October, the group said.
A far-right group campaigning for a change in Croatian election laws said Thursday it has collected enough signatures to call a nationwide referendum that could curb significantly the rights of ethnic minorities. The “People Decide” group said it has collected nearly 400,000 signatures for a vote on a proposal to reduce the number of lawmakers in Croatia’s parliament from 150 to a maximum 120, curb the number of MPs representing ethnic minorities and ban them from voting on crucial issues such as forming Croatia’s government and the national budget.
Croatia’s conservatives were poised to remain in power after winning a snap election but will have to begin coalition talks to form a government after falling short of a majority. The close result does little to dispel political uncertainty in the EU’s newest member but the new conservative leader – now likely to be prime minister – has signalled a shift towards the centre after a lurch to the right. The conservative HDZ won 61 seats while its centre-left opposition rivals, the Social Democrats (SDP), had 54, according to results from nearly all polling stations. Slovenia and Croatia ban transit of refugees to other European countries “I’m certain that we are the party that will have the privilege of forming the next stable Croatian government,” HDZ’s new moderate leader, Andrej Plenkovic, told supporters early on Monday.
Croatia goes to the polls in snap parliamentary elections on Sunday – just 10 months after the last vote produced a parliament unable to forge a sustainable governing coalition – with little hope that the outcome will be any different this time. Pollsters predict that neither of the two main parties which have governed Croatia since it emerged from the former Yugoslavia 25 years ago – the conservative Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) and the Social Democratic Party (SDP) – will score a decisive win. “It is certain that the election result will be tight and it is totally certain that neither of the big blocs will have enough to form a government alone,” political analyst Davor Gjenero told dpa.
Parties competing in in Croatia’s parliamentary election campaign are making good use of Smartphone apps and social networks advertising to get the votes out. With elections set for Sunday, some parties, like the leading centre-right Croatian Democratic Union, HDZ, have made a point of motivating voters, especially younger ones, through apps. HDZ’s app “Credible” – also their keyword for the whole campaign – enables users to watch a short video with the new party president Andrej Plenkovic.The phone’s camera back has only to be pointed towards billboards, photos, newspapers or screens showing Plenkovic’s official campaign posters. “Dear young people, we often encounter each other all over Croatia and communicate through social networks,” he says in the video.
Croatia will hold a snap election on Sept. 11, President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic said in a statement on Saturday, following the fall of the government after a vote of no-confidence last month. Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic’s five month old center-right coalition government collapsed as a result of a split between the conservative HDZ party and its junior reformist partner, Most (“Bridge”). According to recent opinion polls, the HDZ is trailing the main opposition party, the Social Democrats (SDP), by 10 percentage points, although none of the biggest parties is likely to win an outright majority and a hung parliament is a distinct possibility.
Croatian lawmakers voted Monday to dissolve Parliament, paving the way for early elections after the government fell in a no-confidence vote last week. The vote was 137 in favor of dissolving Parliament, two against and one abstention. Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic and his government fell on Thursday after weeks of political deadlock that has stalled much-needed economic reform in the newest European Union member state. Croatia joined the EU in 2013 after fighting a war for independence from Yugoslavia in the 1990s. The ruling right-wing Croatian Democratic Union, which brought Oreskovic to power in January but later turned against him, wanted to form a new government with a new prime minister. Opposition parties, however, collected enough votes in the parliament for the dissolution and the holding of early elections.
Croatia’s ruling coalition lurched toward collapse after its biggest party initiated a no-confidence vote against technocrat Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic, threatening a drive to retool the economy and raising the prospect of early elections. Facing dismissal himself in a parliamentary no-confidence vote backed by both the opposition and his ruling partners, Deputy Premier Tomislav Karamarko mounted a counterattack Tuesday, with his Croatian Democratic Union filing for a similar vote against Oreskovic. The measure, which the opposition Social Democrats said they may help push through, can take place on June 15 at the earliest and will bring down the youngest European Union state’s four-month-old government if the premier is defeated. “Considering that the current political groups can’t seem to find a way out of the turmoil, the most efficient and most honest outcome for the country would be snap elections,” Nenad Zakosek, political science professor at the University of Zagreb, said by phone.
Croatia’s parliament elected a speaker on Monday, unblocking a seven-week legislative stalemate and paving the way for lawmakers to approve a new government following inconclusive elections. Lawmakers elected Zeljko Reiner, a member of the Croatian Democratic Union, as head of parliament after his party agreed to form a ruling coalition with the Bridge party that came in third in the Nov. 8 general ballot. The two have proposed Tihomir Oreskovic, a non-partisan pharmaceutical executive who grew up in Canada, as premier. His appointment ended a deadlock in which the proposed coalition partners and the ruling Social Democrats wrangled over who would lead the government and lead a recovery from a six-year recession.
Croatia moved closer to holding a new election on Thursday when parliament convened for the first time after an inconclusive vote on Nov. 8 and its speaker-elect turned down the job after failing to win cross-party support. President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic held an unsuccessful first round of talks last week on forming a coalition cabinet as the minority party that holds the balance of power could not decide which party to back. She set the next round for Dec. 7. The opposition conservative HDZ party won 59 seats in the 151-seat parliament, three seats more than the incumbent Social Democrats-led centre-left coalition. Reformist newcomers “Most”, Croatian for “bridge”, has 19 seats. Whoever wins the support of at least 76 deputies will become prime-minister designate.
Croatia’s conservative opposition has won the Balkan country’s first parliamentary election since joining the European Union in 2013, but without enough votes to rule alone and with tough government negotiations looming. The state electoral commission said Monday that with 99% of the vote counted, the conservatives, led by former intelligence chief Tomislav Karamarko, won 59 seats in the 151-seat parliament. The ruling Social Democrats, led by incumbent Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic, got 56 seats. The result means both blocs have failed to win an outright majority and the forming of a new government will depend on several small parties that entered parliament. The kingmaker will be the third-placed party, Most, or Bridge, with 19 seats.
Croatia’s conservative opposition won the country’s first election since it joined the European Union in 2013, according to preliminary results on Sunday, but its narrow victory mean lengthy coalition talks are likely to follow in the next days or weeks. The new government will have to nurture a tentative economic recovery after six years of recession and deal with thousands of migrants from the Middle East streaming through the tiny Adriatic state on their way to western and northern Europe. “We estimate we will have around 10 seats more than the SDP. We will talk to all those who want changes in Croatia,” said Gordan Jandrokovic, Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) senior official and former foreign minister
Croatia’s ruling Social Democrats can claim success on the two biggest issues facing the country – Europe’s migration crisis and a sluggish economy just climbing out of recession – but it faces a tough fight to retain power in an election on Sunday. A compassionate stand on migrants and signs of economic growth have helped Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic and the Social Democrats regain ground. Recent public opinion polls show it still trails the conservative HDZ party, though. Faced with tens of thousands of migrants from the Middle East traversing Croatia since mid-September, Milanovic’s government has largely tried to accommodate them, aside from short-lived bans on border crossings from Serbia. It clashed publicly with Hungary and Slovenia over the flow of people, many of them refugees from war, through the Balkan peninsula to western Europe.
Croatians vote in a general election Sunday as the nation faces an ongoing influx of refugees — a crisis that rival political camps have tried to exploit, while lacking concrete policy pledges to kickstart the sluggish economy. After four years of a centre-left coalition government and six years of recession, the right-wing opposition is bidding to return to power in the country’s first general elections since joining the European Union in 2013. Polls show the conservative Patriotic Coalition led by the HDZ party just ahead, but its comfortable lead has been erased in recent months by the ruling Croatia Is Growing alliance led by the Social Democrats (SDP) and Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic. Some say the arrival since mid-September of more than 300,000 migrants headed for northern Europe has provided a welcome diversion for Milanovic after a disappointing term in which he failed to implement much hoped-for reforms.
Croatia’s president on Monday called a parliamentary election for November 8, a vote expected to be a tight race as the EU member grapples with a migrant influx and a weak economy. The polls will pit the current centre-left government, led by the Social Democrats (SDP), against the conservative Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) party. The announcement comes as the former Yugoslav republic struggles to cope with the arrival of tens of thousands of migrants, who have been travelling through the country since mid-September in the hope of reaching western Europe. “I have decided that parliamentary elections will be held on Sunday, November 8,” said a statement from President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, who was elected Croatia’s first female president in January.
In an unexpectedly tight runoff, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, a conservative challenger, won Croatia’s election on Sunday and is set to become the country’s first female president. With more than 99 percent of the ballots counted, Ms. Grabar-Kitarovic, 46, won 50.4 percent of the votes, compared with 49.6 percent for President Ivo Josipovic, the center-left incumbent, the electoral commission said. The election took place in a climate of deep pessimism about Croatia’s economy. The newest member of the European Union, Croatia has one of the weakest economies in the bloc, with an unemployment rate of nearly 20 percent and youth unemployment running at 41.5 percent. “Let’s go together,” Ms. Grabar-Kitarovic of the opposition Croatian Democratic Union said late Sunday in a speech laced with patriotic wording and interrupted by nationalist soccer chants. “A difficult job awaits us. Let’s unite. Let’s unite our patriotism, love and faith in our Croatian homeland.”
Croatia’s incumbent President Ivo Josipovic maintained a slim lead in the first round of presidential election by winning 38.48 percent of the votes, compared with his rival Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic’s 37.18 percent. In Croatian history, only three presidential elections entered into the second round. Previously, all winners of the first round secured victory in run-offs by a margin of more than 13 percent of the votes. The upcoming run-off, to be held on January 11th, the two candidates will fight for votes going for Milan Kujundzic supported by a group of right wing parties as well as Ivan Vilibor Sincic, an activist. Both Kujundzic and Sincic lost in the first round of presidential election. It is very likely that Kujundzic voters, some 6.3 percent, will support Grabar Kitarovic if they go to polling stations again. Still, it remains unclear who will attract the votes going to Sincic, who won 16.42 percent of votes in the first round.
Croatian President Ivo Josipovic failed to win re-election in the first round as NATO official Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic forced a Jan. 11 run-off on a campaign to help the Balkan country emerge from six years of recession. Josipovic, a Social Democrat, won 38.57 percent after 97 percent of vote counted, the state electoral commission said on its website yesterday. Grabar Kitarovic, running for the main opposition party, the Croatian Democratic Union, took 37.08 percent. Milan Kujundzic, supported by a group of small right-wing parties, and Ivan Sincic, an independent, garnered 6.28 percent and 16.46 percent, respectively. “Grabar Kitarovic advances to run-off as a favorite, for several reasons,” Zarko Puhovski, a political science professor at the University of Zagreb, said by phone. “The Croatian Democratic Union has traditionally been better at mobilizing its voters. She will get all the votes given to Kujundzic, and about half the votes given to Sincic.”
The liberal incumbent and a conservative rival are heading for a showdown in a runoff presidential election in Croatia, according to the partial count of the Sunday poll, held amid severe economic woes in EU’s newest member. Current President Ivo Josipovic, who is backed by the center-left government, held a slight lead with some 39 percent over opposition candidate Kolinda Grabar-Kitarevic at around 36 percent, early results released by the election authorities showed. Two other candidates were far behind. Since no one took more than half of the votes, a runoff will be held in two weeks. Analysts said no major change was expected with all the ballots counted.
Croatia, the European Union’s newest member, is set to vote for a new head of state December 28, with none of the four candidates vying for the largely ceremonial post seems likely to secure an outright victory according to polls. Incumbent Ivo Josipovic, supported by the ruling Social Democrats, is seen as a frontrunner even though the government’s failure to halt economic decline has eroded the party’s popularity. Josipovic has campaigned on a platform proposing constitutional changes, saying that a more decentralized and democratic country is needed to help the economy find a way out its sixth year of recession. “Today we have an entire generation of young people who are no longer concerned with asking whose side one was on in 1941 or in 1991, they are concerned with where to get jobs. I want to learn from them, I want to live with them, and I want to see us giving them a future together. Let’s not forget that we have merely borrowed Croatia from future generations, and it is our obligation to solidify the foundations of the country, and without doing that, we cannot find a way out of the economic crisis,” Josipovic told a rally in Zagreb in December, referring to political divisions in Croatian society over the legacy of World War II and the independence war of the 1990s.
Croatia’s atypical president, Social Democrat Ivo Josipovic, is running for re-election Sunday with an emphasis on the more conventional promise of restoring economic health to the European Union’s newest member. Josipovic, a former law professor and classical music composer, was elected in January 2010 to the largely ceremonial presidential post on vows to fight corruption and help Croatia attain EU membership. When his country finally became the 28th member of the bloc in 2013, Josipovic celebrated by performing Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” in a televised piano appearance. The 57-year-old, who enjoys a squeaky-clean political reputation, has consistently topped the three other contenders in the race in opinion polls.
With the formal start of electioneering at midnight Monday for the Croatian presidential election set for 28 December, the presidential candidate of the strongest opposition Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic, began her whistle-stop tour in her hometown of Drazice, where she promised that if she won the election she would complete the job which the first president, Franjo Tudjman, had started steering the country towards prosperity, while the incumbent head of state, Ivo Josipovic, embarked on his hustings tour at noon Tuesday in downtown Zagreb where he boarded a bus that will transport him and his team through Croatia in the next 18 days of campaigning. Josipovic, who was seen off by Prime Minister and Social Democratic Party (SDP) leader Zoran Milanovic, said he was starting the tour from the same place, the square outside the law school and the Croatian National Theatre, from where he started the campaigning for his first term five years ago.
A strong majority in staunchly Catholic Croatia has voted to outlaw same-sex marriage in a referendum sought by a Church-backed group but strongly opposed by rights groups. A total of 64.84 per cent of voters said ‘yes’ to the question of whether they wanted to amend the constitution to include a definition of marriage as a ‘union between a woman and a man’, according to partial results from around one-third of polling stations released by the electoral commission on Sunday. Croatia’s current constitution does not define marriage. A total of 34.56 per cent of voters said ‘no’, the results showed.
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.
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.
By Sunday midnight, DIP had processed 56.55 percent of votes in 11 constituencies, DIP president Branko Hrvatin said.
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.