Croatia Ready for an Early Parliamentary Election

Croatia Ready For Early Parliamentary Election – By Saturday, August 13, the deadline for applying for the early elections in Croatia had passed, paving the way for the start of the “official election campaign”.

Sabor (Image by Croatian government/CC BY 2.0) Croatia Ready for Early Parliamentary Election

Sabor (Image by Croatian government/CC BY 2.0)

According to the Croatian Election Commission, over 177 election ballots had been applied for by the Croatian parties. This number is slightly higher in comparison with the November 8, 2015 parliamentary election, in which 168 parties had applied their candidates.

The major partner in the Coalition government, the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), filed its application on the last day on Saturday, August 13th.

The newly elected chief of HDZ, MEP Andrej Plenković, gave a statement to the press, after personally handing out his party’s application to the representatives of the Election Commission. Plenković had said that his party’s candidates are the “winning combination”.

“I think we have strong candidates; we have two female leaders on the ballots in the second and the ninth electoral constituencies, which is an important message. We have people with the field experience and statesman experience,” Plenković had said.

HDZ’s top adversary, and one of the most serious contenders to win the early election is the left-wing Social Democratic Party (SDP). They filed their application ten days prior to HDZ, while the minor partner to HDZ in the impeached coalition government, handed out its application on Friday, August 12.

Croatia Ready for an Early Parliamentary Election – Campaign Starts 48 Hours After Application Deadline

According to Croatian law, the Election Commission has a deadline of 48 hours to check and publish all filed applications. The end of the application process marks the start of the “official campaign”.

The early election, scheduled for September 11th, will decide on 151 MP seats in the Sabor (parliament). The 151 parliament’s seats will be chosen out of the 12 electoral constituencies.

140 MPs will be elected from 10 electoral constituencies, three MPs will be chosen by votes of the diaspora, and eight MP seats will be reserved for the minorities, which will be voted from the 12th electoral constituency, which encompasses the whole of Croatia.

Early election – The End of a Severe Political Crisis in Croatia

The announcement of the early election by Croatian President Kolinda Grabar Kitarović has been preceded by mass protests, the resignation of Vice-Prime Minister Tomislav Karamarko, the impeachment of PM Tihomir Orešković, and the dissolution of the Sabor (parliament).

The last Parliamentary election, held on November 8th, 2015, resulted in a “hung parliament”, forcing the third largest party MOST to choose a partner for a coalition government between the “traditional adversaries”, HDZ and SDP.

MOST chose HDZ, and formed a government led by a businessman and a non-party member, Tihomir Orešković, as the country’s Prime Minister. As soon as the government was formed and approved by parliament, the disagreements between the two coalition partners caused severe political crisis and struggles that eventually resulted in an early election.

Dejan Scepanovic

Based in Bosnia and Herzegovina. BA in political science. Columnist.