Elections in Croatia

Sunday, 11 September, 2016 - 16:30

Croats choose a government today for the second time in less than a year.

Polls predict a close outcome and another coalition that lacks a clear mandate to push through painful cuts and restructuring being urged by European authorities.

A Social Democrat-led four-party alliance stands to win about 60 of 151 seats in a fragmented parliament, while its conservative rival, the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), should be a few seats behind, the opinion polls say.

That would leave them seeking support from the center-right Most (Bridge) party, also the kingmaker after last November's elections, which wants to end the 20-year dominance of the big parties it accuses of clientelism and corruption.

The previous HDZ/Most coalition collapsed after just five months amid rows over political appointments, public administration reforms and a conflict of interest case.

Under former Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic, the SDP hopes to wrest control from the short-lived technocratic government, but the HDZ hopes a new leader, European Parliamentarian Andrej Plenkovic, can make up lost ground and renew the coalition.