Ruling conservatives win Croatian election, first results show

Zagreb, Jul 6 (efe-epa).- With almost all the votes counted from Croatia’s parliamentary elections on Sunday, it was a clear win for the country’s ruling conservatives.

Incumbent prime minister Andrej Plenkovic, who has been in power since 2016, and his Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) look set to start another term in office.

With more than 99 percent of the votes counted the HDZ has won 37 percent of the ballots, one point more than in the last elections, and will have 66 of the 151 seats in parliament, an increase of five, according to results published on Monday by Croatia’s State Electoral Commission.

The party was eight seats short of an absolute majority and is expected to form a coalition government with smaller right-wing groups.

HDZ’s main rival and second political force, the center-left Restart alliance led by Davor Bernardic and the Social Democratic Party (SDP), fell by nine percentage points and lost 13 MPs, securing 41 seats and just under 25 percent of the votes.

In third place was the nationalist Homeland Movement, led by folk singer Miroslav Skoro, with 16 seats and 11 percent of the votes.

This was followed by the center-right Bridge of Independent Lists (Most) with eight seats, the Green-Left coalition, a gathering of small Left-wing parties, which took seven seats, liberal party Pametno with three and the Reformists and the Croatian People’s Party, HNS, which won one seat each.

Around 3.8 million Croatians were called to vote on Sunday as the country battled its highest rate of Covid-19 infections.

The elections took place amid the Balkan country’s worst rate of coronavirus infections, with almost 100 new cases and two deaths reported on Friday.

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

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