Croatia Calls for extra Election After Government Collapse

Saturday, 16 July, 2016 - 19:30

Croatia will hold a snap election on Sept. 11, President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic said in a statement on Saturday, following the fall of the government after a vote of no-confidence last month.

Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic's five month old center-right coalition government collapsed as a result of a split between the conservative HDZ party and its junior reformist partner, the ‘Most’ alliance.

According to recent opinion polls, the HDZ is trailing the main opposition party, the Social Democrats (SDP), by 10 percentage points, although none of the biggest parties is likely to win an outright majority and a hung parliament is a distinct possibility.

The conservatives will elect their new leader on July 17, with a member of the European Parliament Andrej Plenkovic the only candidate so far.

"The fact that the HDZ will have a new leader is likely to reflect positively on the party's standing and may even boost its coalition potential. However, we may again face a situation where it won't be easy to form a stable cabinet," said political analyst Ivan Rimac.

The 'Most' alliance, or perhaps another small party, could again hold the balance of power.

Currently, Croatia has a high public debt of 86 percent of its gross domestic product and high unemployment rates.