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Back to the Polls in Croatia?


Croatia looks more and more likely to be heading back to the polls to decide who will govern the country for the next four years after coalition negotiations following the hung parliament result after elections last month…

The 2015 Croatian parliamentary election was held on 8 November 2015 with no party securing a majority in the 151 seats in Parliament which were up for grabs.

Ruling center-left Croatia is Growing coalition, led by Prime Minister Zoran Milanović, has 67 seats, after gaining a number after the election, whilst the Patriotic Coalition led by the Croatian Democratic Union and headed by its party chairman Tomislav Karamarko, has 59 seats. The third-placed MOST (Bridge) led by Metković mayor Božo Petrov won 19 seats, and has been the deciding factor in the formation of the next government of Croatia since the elections.

Yesterday MOST convened a joint open meeting with the two major coalitions where they proposed that a non-partisan Prime Minister, as well as a rotation of the positions of Deputy Prime Minister and Parliament Speaker between the two major parties.

Petrov proposed that in the first two years in office, a person from one coalition would be appointed Deputy Prime Minister, whilst a person from the other party would be the Parliament Speaker, rotating half way through the four-year term.

Leaders of both major coalitions, Milanović and Karamarko, both rejected the proposal, meaning that it is looking more likely that a re-election would be the only solution to the current stalemate.

Time will tell, but one thing looks certain, a large combined coalition government with all parties, which is one of MOST’s ideas, will not happen.

“We cannot enter a coalition with any political entity whose members are persons indicted for crimes. These people must step down. This is essential for us — conditio sine qua non,” said Milanović, adding that it would be hard to expect a consensus and proposed to MOST to consider the inauguration of parliament at least for a short period of time.

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