Category Archives: Croatia


Croatia – European Parliament elections

Croatia will become the 28th member of the European Union on 1 July. Elections to the European Parliament (EP) were held in advance of the country’s accession.

Currently, the government is a coalition of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), the Croatian People’s Party – Liberal Democrats (HNS), and the Istrian Democratic Assembly (IDS). This government replaced the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) administration in December 2011.

The election was mainly notable for the low turnout, just 20.84%. Apparently, only one other EP election anywhere has had a lower turnout rate at any time. The low turnout was all the more surprising given it was the first ever EP election.

Apart from a low turnout, there was a large number of lists competing for Croatia’s 12 EP seats – no fewer than 28. The results are available here. The opposition HDZ list won 33.9% of the votes cast and six seats. The SDP-led list won 32.1% and five seats. The final seat was won by the Croatian Labourists – Labour Party, which won 5.8% of the vote. No other party won more than 4%.

Croatia will hold EP elections again in 2014 at the same time as all EU member state countries.

Croatia – Referendum

On Sunday Croatia held only the second referendum in its history, the first being in 1991. Croatians were asked whether they approved of Croatia’s accession to the European Union. Here is the result:

Yes – 66.27%
No – 33.13%
Invalid – 0.6%

The turnout was very low at only 43.51%.

Croatia – New government

Following the election earlier this month, Croatia has a new PM and a new government.

The so-called Kukuriku Coalition won an absolute majority of seats. The new PM is Zoran Milanović, the leader of the Social Democratic Party of Croatia (SDP). The Croatian People’s Party – Liberal Democrats (Hrvatska narodna stranka – liberalni demokrati, HNS) has four ministries, including the Minister of the Economy. The Istrian Democratic Assembly (IDS) has one ministry. There are two independents.

Croatia – Parliamentary election

Legislative elections were held in Croatia on Sunday. The distribution of seats is available from the Croatia Electoral Commission. They also have constituency-level votes, but no aggregates. So, I am taking those from Wikipedia. The outgoing government was led by the HDZ. Here are the results:

Kukuriku Coalition – 47% (80 seats)
Croatian Democratic Union (Hrvatska demokratska zajednica, HDZ, plus allies) – 24% (47 seats)
Croatian Labourists – Labour Party (Hrvatski laburisti – Stranka rada, HL-SR) – 6% (6 seats)
Croatian Democratic Alliance of Slavonia and Baranja (Hrvatski demokratski savez Slavonije i Baranje, HDSSB) – 3% (6 seats)
Independent list Ivan Grubišić – 2% (2 seats)
Croatian Party of Rights dr. Ante Starčević – 1% (1 seat)
Others – 8 seats

The Kukuriku Coalition comprises the Social Democrats (Socijaldemokratska partija Hrvatske, SDP), the Croatian People’s Party – Liberal Democrats (Hrvatska narodna stranka – liberalni demokrati, HNS), the Istrian Democratic Assembly, and the Croatian Party of Pensioners (Hrvatska stranka umirovljenika, HSU). By far the dominant party in the coalition is the Social Democrats.

Given the coalition has a majority, it will form the next government. Given also the president is from the Social Democrats, the formation of the new government will end Croatia’s recent period of cohabitation.

Cohabitation – Croatia

This is a series of posts that records the cases of cohabitation in countries with semi-presidential constitutions. Cohabitation is defined as the situation where the president and prime minister are from different parties and where the president’s party is not represented in the cabinet. Presidents classed as non-party cannot generate any periods of cohabitation.

Here is the list for Croatia:

Feb 2010 – December 2011
President – Ivo Josipović (SDP); PM – Jadranka Kosor (HDZ); Coalition – HDZ, HSS, HSLS, SDSS

Party abbreviations:
HDZ – Hrvatska demokratska zajednica (Croatian Democratic Union)
HSLS – Hrvatska socijalno liberalna stranka (Croatian Social Liberal Party)
HSS – Hrvatska seljačka stranka (Croatian Peasant Party)
SDP – Socijaldemokratska partija Hrvatske (Social Democratic party)
SDSS – Samostalna demokratska srpska stranka (Independent Democratic Serbian Party)

Croatia – Presidential election 2nd round

As expected, Ivo Josipović of the opposition Social Democratic Party has won the second round of the Croatian presidential election. Here is the result:

Ivo Josipović (Social Democratic Party) 60.26%
Milan Bandić (ind., ex-SDP, Mayor of Zagreb) 39.74%

Turnout 50%
Source: Electoral Commission

Electoral Geography has all the regional results.

The president-elect’s term begins on 18 February. This will begin a period of cohabitation.

Croatia – Presidential election 1st round

The first round of the presidential election in Croatia was held on 27 December. Here are the results:

Ivo Josipović (Social Democratic Party) 32.42%
Milan Bandić (ind., ex-SDP, Mayor of Zagreb) 14.83%
Andrija Hebrang (HDZ) 12.04%
Nadan Vidošević (ind., ex-HDZ) 11.33%
Vesna Pusić (Croatian People’s Party-Liberal Democrats/HNS-LD) 7.25%
Dragan Primorac (ind., ex-HDZ) 5.93%
Miroslav Tuđman (ind., son of Franjo Tuđman) 4.09%
Damir Kajin (Istrian Democratic Assembly) 3.87%
Josip Jurčević (ind.) 2.74%
Boris Mikšić (ind.) 2.1%
Vesna Škare-Ožbolt (ind.) 1.89%
Slavko Vukšić (Democratic Party of Slavonia Plain) 0.42%

Turnout 44%
Source: Electoral Commission

Electoral Geography has all the regional results as well as some nice maps.

So, the ruling HDZ party failed to get a candidate through to the second round because of division within its ranks. There is a report on the election here.

The polls show that Josipović will easily win at the second ballot, which is held on 10 January. This will begin a period of cohabitation.

Croatia – Presidential election poll

The first round of the presidential election in Croatia will be held on 27 December with, most likely, a second round on 10 January. The incumbent, Stjepan “Stipe” Mesić, is from the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) and he is ineligible to stand again.

The most recent opinion poll appeared at the end of last week in Jutarnjilist. These are the main standings:

Ivo Josipović (Social Democratic Party) 27.6%
Milan Bandić (ind., ex-SDP, Mayor of Zagreb) 15.4%
Nadan Vidošević (ind., ex-HDZ) 12.7%
Andrija Hebrang (HDZ) 8.4%
Dragan Primorac (ind., ex-HDZ) 8.1%
Vesna Pusić (Croatian People’s Party-Liberal Democrats/HNS-LD) 6.0%

The same poll has Josipović beating Bandić by 47.4% to 36.1% at the second ballot.

These standings have changed considerably since I last reported a poll back in September.

Croatia – Presidential poll

In Croatia the next presidential election will take place in January 2010. The incumbent is Stjepan “Stipe” Mesić. He was from the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), though technically he is non-party. The government is headed by Jadranka Kosor also from the HDZ. The coalition comprises the HDZ, HSS, HSLS, and SDSS.

Opinion polls vary, but a Puls poll for Nacional clearly shows that the favourite for the election is Ivo Josipović of the Social Democratic Party (SDP). In the poll he scores 32%. He also beats every candidate at the second ballot. If he were to win and the coalition stayed the same, then there would be a period of cohabitation.

The other candidates polled are:
Andrija Hebrang (Croatian Democratic Union/HDZ), 18%
Nadan Vidošević (Head of Chamber of Commerce), 15%
Radimir Čačić (Croatian People’s Party-Liberal Democrats/HNS), 12%
Vesna Pusić (Croatian People’s Party-Liberal Democrats/HNS-LD), 11%

Elements within the ruling HDZ had tried to have Vidošević stand as an HDZ candidate. This may have changed the situation, but, apparently, this will not happen now.

Bulgaria and Croatia – New PMs


As expected, Boiko Borissov is almost certain to be the new prime minister of Bulgaria. He has been appointed by the president to form a government. The investiture vote in the Assembly is due on 27th or 28th July.

The interesting development is that, according to Sophia Echo, Borissov intends to head a single-party minority government rather than trying to form a majority coalition government. Currently, he is five seats short of a majority. Seemingly, he had wanted to make the majority secure in parliament by having opposition parties sign a memorandum of ongoing parliamentary support. However, South East European Times reports that the centre-right Blue Coalition and the conservative Order, Law, Justice Party have refused to do so, even though they will support the government at the investiture vote.

The final seat tally for the election earlier this month is the following:

Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB) 116 seats +116
Coalition for Bulgaria (KzB) 40 seats – 42
Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) 38 seats + 4
National Union ‘Attack’ (NOA) 21 seats
Blue Coalition (SK) 15 seats – 22
Order, Law and Justice (RZS) 10 seats + 10