Croatia Elections 2016: Live Blog
 
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Croatia Elections 2016: Live Blog

Stay tuned for all the latest developments, election results and reactions as Croatia goes to the polls to elect a new government.


  • Polling stations opened at 7am for just under 3.8 million voters who have an opportunity to cast votes for parliament for the second time in Croatia in ten months.

    Voters in Croatia and abroad – diaspora and Bosnian Croats – can choose from among 177 lists of parties, coalitions and individual candidates for 12 constituencies.

    Besides 140 seats in ten constituencies in Croatia, eight seats are guaranteed to national minorities and three to Bosnian Croats and the diaspora, making 151 in total.

    Photo: Stipe Mayic/Anadolu 


  • A survey published on Wednesday, conducted by a polling agency Ipsos puls, using secret voting by 4,200 people in all ten 14-seat constituencies, predicts that the People's Coalition will win 55 seats and the HDZ 53.

    The same survey suggests that MOST will win 12 seats, Living Wall, eight and Bandic’s coalition, seven. Three smaller parties will win between one and three seats each.

    An earlier survey published on September 2 showed the People’s Coalition could win 61 seats and the HDZ 56. That survey, conducted through telephone calls, was carried out by the polling agency Hendal and included 10,000 participants.

    As in the Ipsos puls survey, this survey suggested that a major role in forming the next government would go to MOST, with 13 seats, and to Living Wall, with six.

  • First unofficial results will follow on Sunday evening, while the official final results will be presented within 48 hours of the closure of the polls. 

    Photo: Stipe Mayic/Anadolu 


  • Andrej Plenkovic, president of the leading centre-right Croatian Democratic Union, HDZ, turned out to vote in the Croatian parliamentary elections on Sunday morning in Zagreb.
     
    Andrej Plenkovic on the polling station. Photo: Anadolu Agency/Stipe Majic
     
     
  • Mayor of Zagreb Milan Bandic was seen at his polling station at 7am. He said he hoped Croatian citizens would vote for “a better future instead of a better past” for the first time in 26 years of Croatian democracy.
     
    A picture of Bandic was posted to his official Facebook profile, along with the caption "#Premijer" (Prime Minister), which was the slogan for his campaign. Some local media speculated that this broke the rule for no campaign advertising on Saturday and Sunday.
     
    Milan Bandic Facebook post. Photo: Facebook screenshot
     
  • Dan je odluke kakav možda nećemo imati sljedeće 4 godine.Glasajte prema savjesti.Naša Hrvatska bez HDZ-a i SDP-a i satelita je moguća.Živimo taj san. Izaberimo takav svijet.

  • Ivan Vilibor Sincic, president of anti-establishment party Living Wall, was also accused by regional media N1 and Index of breaking the ‘no campaigning’ rule on polling day. He wrote on his Facebook account that Croatia's future lay without the country’s two main parties – the centre-left Social Democratic Party, SDP, and the centre-right Croatian Democratic Union, HDZ.

    In another post, Sincic wrote that his wife Vladimira Palfi, also a Living Wall candidate, is his choice for the third of Croatia’s ten geographic constituencies.
     
  • Voter turnout by 11:30am was 18.86 per cent, according to the state elections commission. That is some 45,000 fewer than had voted by the same time at the most recent elections, in November.
     
     
  • Zoran Milanovic, president of the leading centre-left Social Democratic Party, SDP, said after casting his vote that his four-party alliance the People's Coalition had shown their competence, and that it was now all down to the voters.
     
    Zoran Milanovic casting his vote. Photo: Anadolu Agency
     
  • “I expect the biggest possible turnout and I urge citizens to vote, because today is indeed a day when they decide,” Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic said after casting her vote in Zagreb.
     
    Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic casting her ballot. Photo: Anadolu Agency
     
  • "I hope that as many people [as possible] take advantage of this day and show up at the polls and vote. I hope that the new government will be formed as soon as possible. I’ll also be watching television tonight and see the results, and tomorrow is a new day," Tihomir Oreskovic, the outgoing Croatian Prime Minister, said after casting his ballot in Zagreb.
     
    Tihomir Oreskovic on the polling station. Photo: Anadolu Agency
     
  • According to Anadolu Agency, between 1,000 and 1,200 voters will vote at the Croatian consulate in Banja Luka in Bosnia and Herzegovina, a slightly lower figure than in the November elections.
     
    Voters in Banja Luka. Photo: Anadolu Agency
     
  • Although the State Electoral Commission said it was inappropriate to use cell phones in polling stations or for voters to photograph their ballots, N1 TV filmed Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic photographing her marked ballot.
     
    Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic takes a photo of her marked ballot. Photo: N1 TV
     
  • GONG, a Croatian NGO that oversees elections, said it had received anonymous reports of irregular behaviour by polling station officials and problems reaching the State Electoral Commission by phone.

    Some voters also reportedly complained of receiving banned forms of advertising - by phone call, SMS, email or social networks – from several candidates.
  • According to Anadolu Agency, voters in the Bosnian city of Mostar were unhappy with the number of polling stations opened for the elections.
     
    Voters waiting to cast their vote in Mostar. Photo: Anadolu Agency
     
  • A spoiled ballot published to the Occupy Croatia Facebook page said: “[Put] the needs of man before the interests of capital. When there are no slaves, there will be no masters.”
     
     
  • Turnout by 4:30pm was 37.21 per cent, according to the State Electoral Commission. Of 3.8 million registered to vote, 1.2 million had cast their ballots. This figure represents a turnout 10 per cent lower than by the same time in last November’s elections.

    Photo: Stipe Mayic/Anadolu  

  • People are waiting in queues to vote at polling stations in Sarajevo, where some 5,900 people with Croatian citizenship can vote at eight polling stations.

    Croatians in Bosnia and Herzegovina can cast their ballots at 34 polling stations across the country. As well as those in Sarajevo, there are 21,000 registered voters in Mostar, 4,700 in Tuzla and 2,538 in Banja Luka.

    People are waiting in queues to vote at polling stations in Sarajevo. Photo: Denis Zuber/Anadolu 


  • BIRN asked voters what they hope for and predict from the new government.
     
    “Honestly, I don't expect too much from the new government, because I don't remember the last time a government proved itself or kept its promises. Nevertheless, even a small step forward would be good,” Tina, 31 and unemployed, told BIRN.
     
    "I don't expect anything to change with a new government. Again our poor people will be ill-treated, and people in power will again deal with WWII issues like the [anti-fascist] Partisans, [fascist units] Ustasa and [Serbian nationalistic movement] Chetniks. I think another 50 years will have to pass until we can start to focus on normal topics," Slobodan, a 62-year-old company manager, told BIRN.
     
    Ana, a 33-year-old writer, told BIRN what her expectations were of the new government after she cast her vote.
     
    “I hope that the government will finally start to deal with the economic problem in the country, without unproductive ideological quarrels. However, I am afraid things won't change much and everything will remain as absurd as it has been in recent months," she said.
  • After the polling stations closed at 7pm, TV station RTL published its exit poll of 24,000 people in all ten of Croatia’s geographic constituencies. The survey was concluded at 5pm.

    Out of 140 seats, the centre-left People's Coalition is projected to win 58, with its biggest opponent the centre-right Croatian Democratic Union, HDZ, on 57 seats.

    Centre-right party Bridge of Independent Lists, MOST, is poised to take 11 seats, while the polls had anti-establishment Living Wall on seven seats and Istrian Democratic Assembly, IDS, on four. 

    Meanwhile Mayor of Zagreb Milan Bandic’s coalition was expected to win two seats while right-wing Croatian Democratic Alliance of Slavonia and Baranja, HDSSB, would take one.

    Eight further seats are reserved for election by Croatia’s minorities, and three seats by diaspora Croats including those in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
  • Pedja Grbin, a leading official from the centre-left Social Democratic Party, SDP, said he was not enthused by the results of the SDP-dominated People's Coalition as projected by the first exit poll, which concluded at 5pm.

    According to the poll, the People's Coalition will win 58 seats, while its biggest opponent on the centre-right, the Croatian Democratic Union, HDZ, will win 57 seats in Parliament.
  • TV station RTL has published its second, updated exit poll which concluded as the polls closed at 7pm.

    Out of 140 seats, the centre-left People's Coalition and its biggest opponent on the centre-right Croatian Democratic Union, HDZ, were neck and neck with both set to win 57 seats.

    Centre-right party Bridge of Independent Lists, MOST, is poised to take 12 seats, while the polls had anti-establishment Living Wall on seven seats and Istrian Democratic Assembly, IDS, on three. 

    Meanwhile Mayor of Zagreb Milan Bandic’s coalition was expected to win two seats, right-wing Croatian Democratic Alliance of Slavonia and Baranja, HDSSB, would take one, while liberal Smart would win also one seat.

    Eight further seats are reserved for election by Croatia’s minorities, and three seats by diaspora Croats and Bosnian Croats.

  • Arsen Bauk, from the Social Democratic Party, SDP, told N1 television that his party expected the coalition it leads, the People’s Coalition, to win 60 seats in parliament.

    Bauk stated that a “grand coalition” between the SDP and their main rivals from the centre-right Croatian Democratic Union, HDZ, is one of the options for the formation of the next government.

    “Big parties will [discuss] about coalitions, but there must be willingness from the other side as well,” Bauk said, adding that the most natural allies for the People’s Coalition are the regional Istrian Democratic Assembly, IDS, and parties representing national minorities. 

    “That is around seven mandates [seats] but, obviously, we would need seven more [to form a majority],” Bauk said.

    The centre-left People’s Coalition, led by the SDP, has won 57 seats out of 140, according to the preliminary exit polls.
  • Milijan Brkic, one of the leading officials from the centre-right Croatian Democratic Union, HDZ, said that his party had once again proved that it is the strongest in Croatia, and will win a few seats more than the centre-left People's Coalition when it wins the three seats reserved for the Croatian diaspora and Croats from Bosnia and Herzegovina.
     
    According to the exit polls conducted by the agency Ipsos at polling stations at 7pm, the HDZ and People's Coalition are both set to win 57 seats in parliament.
     
    Scenes from HDZ's headquarters. Photo: Facebook
     
  • Nikola Grmoja, from the centre-right Bridge of the Independent List, MOST, said he is satisfied with the 12 seats that the party stands to win according to exit polls conducted by Ipsos agency at polling stations at 7pm.

    Grmoja said that it is all down to the centre-left People's Coalition and the centre-right Croatian Democratic Union, HDZ, if they want to form a coalition government.
     
    Scenes from MOST's headquarters. Photo: Anadolu Agency
     
  • The coalition led by the anti-establishment Living Wall won seven seats according to preliminary exit polls, six more than in the last elections held in November 2015.

    “We expected it . In the last elections we should have had this result, but unfortunate circumstances reduced us by one [seat]. This time, we made a step forward … We are not surprised, we expected this,” Ivan Pernar, from Living Wall, told TV N1.
  • The Coalition for Prime Minister, led by Mayor of Zagreb Milan Bandic, was expected to win two seats in parliament, but hopes that the final results will show they won more.

    “The Coalition expects to stay in parliament and I believe we will stay and that we’ll have enough mandates so that a new government cannot form a majority without the support of our representatives,” Ivica Lovric, from the Coalition for Prime Minister, told Anadolu news agency.

    Ivica Lovric, from the Coalition for Prime Minister. Photo: Stipe Mayic/Anadolu 


  •  Turnout at Croatia’s general election was 52.38 per cent, according to the State Electoral Commission. Of 3.8 million registered to vote, 1.9 million cast their ballots. This figure represents a turnout eight per cent lower than by the same time in last November’s elections.

    A person votes at a polling station in Zagreb, Croatia. Photo: Darko Bandic/AP 

  • According to the results published by the State Election Commission after counting votes at 43 per cent polling stations, the centre-right Croatian Democratic Union, HDZ, won 60 seats, while the main centre-left Social Democratic Party, SDP, won 55 seats.

    The Bridge of the Independent Lists, MOST, won 12, while the coalition Only Option, gathered around the anti-establishment Living Wall won eight seats. 

    The regional Istrian Democratic Assembly, IDS, won four seats, while the coalition around the Zagreb Mayor Milan Bandic won two seats.

    The right-wing regional Croatian Democratic Alliance of Slavonia and Baranja, HDSSB, won one seat, same as the independent candidate, Zeljko Glasnovic, who won the seat for the HDZ in November elections among Croatia diaspora and Bosnian Croats.

    The centre-right Croatian Democratic Union, HDZ, celebrates after the State Election Commission published the first results. Photo: Stipe Mayic/Anadolu


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