President urges citizens to vote in Croatian early election

Zagreb, Sep 12 (IANS) After noting a low turnout in the early parliamentary election, Croatian President Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic on Sunday urged citizens to vote — the second time in 10 months.

She said she hopes for a bigger turnout and that all eligible voters should go to vote because it is the time to decide future, Xinhua reported.

“Croatia has no time to waste and I hope the new government will be formed as soon as possible,” she added.

Meanwhile, the State Election Commission (DIP) said the turnout by 11:30 a.m. local time was 18.86 per cent, three per cent lower than last elections held in November 2015.

But Croatian Parliament Speaker Zeljko Reiner was confident about the turnout, saying by evening when polling stations close the turnout would go higher.

From 7:00 a.m. local time on Sunday, around 3.8 million eligible voters started to cast their ballots through 6,750 polling stations across the country to elect a 151-member new parliament from 2,456 candidates.

Some 140 members will be elected in the ten constituencies across the country, with eight from national minorities, and three from Croatian citizens residing abroad, according to the law.

Poll stations will be closed at 7 p.m. local time and the DIP will publish the preliminary results at about 10 p.m. local time.

The pre-election surveys suggested the election was unlikely to produce a clear winner again.

It showed main party Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) would get 58 seats while its rival People’s Coalition, led by opposition Social Democratic Party (SDP), would win 62 seats.

–IANS

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