Croatians start voting in early parliamentary elections

Zagreb, Sep 11 (IANS) Nearly four million Croatians began casting their votes on Sunday in an early parliamentary election, the second of its kind in 10 months.

About 7,000 polling stations across the country opened at 7.00 a.m. and preliminary results were expected to be released around 10.00 p.m., Xinhua news agency reported.

A coalition government, formed by Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) and its junior partner Most (Bridge of Independent Lists — Most nezavisnih lista) after the last election in November 2015, stepped down in June following a no-confidence vote after which an early election was called.

In the current election, around 3.8 million eligible voters will elect a total of 151 members of parliament from 2,456 candidates. A total of 140 members will be elected in 10 constituencies while eight seats are reserved for representatives of minorities and three seats for communities outside Croatia.

The pre-election opinion polls showed neither of the two biggest parties — the HDZ and the opposition Social Democratic Party (SDP) — could obtain absolute majority. The polls predicted that SDP could win 62 seats while the HDZ might bag 58.

During the election campaign, both the HDZ and the SDP promised to boost investments, reduce tax, and create more jobs if they were elected.

–IANS

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