Today we vote in Croatia


Today in Croatia people vote to renew the Parliament, the Sabor, a single room with 151 seats. It will be one of the first elections in Europe after the peak of the coronavirus pandemic (last week it was voted in Poland and France). The seats will remain open until 7, and the first results should arrive in the evening.

Croatian and international newspapers describe the elections as “hanging in the balance” between the outgoing coalition government, formed primarily by the center-right HDZ party (the Croatian Democratic Union) and the center-left coalition led by the Social Democrats. However, from the polls it seems that the center-right is slightly favored: the consensus that the radical right-wing party Movement for the Fatherland, founded by former HDZ MP Miroslav Škoro, who left the party after will be decisive for the formation of a government a recent centrist turnaround that had remained out of the ballot in the 2019 presidential election by very few votes.

Balkan Insight he writes that the elections should have taken place in the autumn, but Parliament was dissolved in May with the aim of voting in the summer, “attracting suspicions that the HDZ wants to capitalize on the seemingly efficient management of the pandemic”. Although coronavirus cases have been increasing in recent days, Croatia has seen a surprisingly low number of cases – just over three thousand – partly thanks to a lockdown total decided by the government in March.

During the election campaign, no particular topic was mentioned, given that HDZ and the Social Democrats share broad points of their program: both are firmly pro-European, and both hope for a stronger central government, he writes Euronews. The differences were mainly played out in terms of identity: HDZ is historically close to the Catholic Church, while Social Democrats tend to be secular.

Movement for the thought was made by the Movement for the Fatherland, which acts as a classic radical right-wing party on a series of issues: Eurosceptic, nationalist, opposed to the extension of civil rights and abortion.

Among observers of European affairs, however, it caused some amazement that the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen participated in an election spot in support of HDZ, which is part of the same European party that expressed its candidacy for president (the European People’s Party). “I have no memories of a President of the Commission campaigning,” wrote the correspondent of Radio Radicale to the European institutions, David Carretta.

The final turnout is an unknown factor, but it seems likely that at least one section of the population will not come to the polls en masse. Deutsche Welle he writes that young Croatians are very disillusioned with local politics, so much so that only 18% of those under the age of 30 voted in the last European elections (the European average was 42%).

– Also read: Is the Netherlands a problem for Europe?

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