Croatia holds parliamentary elections amid Covid-19 rebound

By Vesna Bernardic

Zagreb, Jul 4 (efe-epa).- Croatia will hold parliamentary elections on Sunday in a tight race between the governing conservatives and progressive opposition amid a rebound of Covid-19 infections.

Around 3.85 million Croatians will be called to elect 151 MPs in a competition that has no clear winner in sight.

Incumbent prime minister Andrej Plenkovic and his Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) and Davor Bernardic, leader of the center-left Social Democratic Party, are the two frontrunners.

The country has seen a second wave of coronavirus infections with almost 100 new cases and two deaths reported on Friday, the worst so far in the Balkan country.

Croatia has not been as badly affected by the outbreak as other European countries, with just over 3,000 confirmed cases and 112 deaths.

The pandemic has triggered a debate around citizens’ voting rights.

The country’s State Electoral Commission was forced to change its rules on Friday after the Constitutional Court ruled that a decision to ban Covid-19 patients from taking part was illegal.

Those infected with the virus will be able to exercise their right in the elections by authorizing a trusted person to vote on their behalf.

Analysts agree that the results of the elections will be very tight and post-election negotiations on the formation of a government are likely to be difficult.

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