Regional Resources

Who's who, Elections

Croatia

local elections

17/05/2009

Sources: OSCE, electionguide.org

Election Summary

Local elections were held in Croatia on May 17th 2009. The ruling Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) won majority of votes in most large cities and counties.

The opposition party -- the Social Democratic Party (SDP) -- won the majority of the votes in Zagreb, Split and Rijeka. The victories of the SDP and their allies came as a major boost for former Prime Minister Ivica Racan. He said the SDP is now a force to be reckoned with ahead of the next general elections.

Election observers have linked HDZ's poor showing to the government’s decision to increase co-operation with the UN war crimes tribunal, which is a key EU condition for Croatia’s membership to the Union.

"Regardless of the good results in some counties and smaller cities the HDZ suffered a serious electoral defeat and was out-classed in major Croatian cities, led by Zagreb," political analyst Davor Butkovic said." That defeat is a serious blow to the political authority of Prime Minister Ivo Sanader, whose party in Zagreb won almost three times less votes than the Social Democrats."

Voter turnout was estimated at less than 35%.

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