Sunday, 28 June 2020

HRejting: Major Parliamentary Elections Poll Restart 60, HDZ 54

June 28, 2020 - The full results of one of the biggest polls conducted in Croatia before the parliamentary elections, which are to be held on July 5th, have just been published. 

The poll was organized by the Croatian Radiotelevision, and performed by the Promocija plus agency, between 14th and 22nd of June, with the sample size of 6000 total participants. The statistical error for each constituency (there are 10 geographical constituencies in Croatia, the 11th constituency is for the votes by the Croatian diaspora and the 12th is for minorities living in Croatia) is not more than +/- 4%. 


I. constituency (Zagreb Centre)

Restart Coalition (SDP+partners) wins 29.2% of the votes, HDZ+HSLS get 19.7%, Miroslav Škoro's Homeland Movement (Domovinski Pokret) get 10.4%, and Tomislav Tomašević from the Možemo! platform gets 9.1% of the votes. Most Party is just over the threshold for a seat, with 6.3%, and Dalija Orešković's party (Stranka s imenom i prezimenom) is just below, at 3.9%. Zagreb Mayor and his party Milan Bandić are around 2%.

As far as the seats go, the poll is certain it can predict the 12 seats (Restart - 5, HDZ - 4, Škoro - 2, Možemo 1). The two seats are up for grabs, with Most and Restart having the highest chances of winning them. 


II. constituency (Zagreb East, Central Croatia)

Restart Coalition wins 31% of the votes, HDZ+HSLS gets 28%, Miroslav Škoro gets 11.3%. Most is below the threshold at 4.6%, as well as Milan Bandić Party with 3.6%

In the II. constituency, the poll suggests 13 certain seats (Restart - 6, HDZ - 5, Škoro - 2), while the highest chance of winning the final seat is given to Most. 


III. constituency (Northern Croatia)

Restart Coalition wins 41.8% of the polled votes, HDZ gets 22.4%. Below the threshold currently are Domovinski Pokret, HNS and Radimir Čačić's Reformisti. 

12 certain seats go to SDP and HDZ (8:4). The two remaining votes are likeliest to go to Restart and Domovinski Pokret. 


IV. constituency (Northern part of Slavonia) 

HDZ has 32.4% of support, Miroslav Škoro's Domovinski Pokret has 22.2%, Restart Coalition is at 18.7%. 

Out of 13 certain seats, 6 go to HDZ, Domovinski Pokret gets 4, Restart Coalition gets 3. The last seat will probably go to either HDZ or Restart Coalition, with HDZ having better chances to get it.

V. constituency (Southern part of Slavonia)

HDZ has 41.1% support, Restart Coalition gets 20.8%, and Miroslav Škoro's coalition gets 16.8%. Most is currently at 4.4% and is close to getting a seat. 

Again, 13 seats are certain: 7 for HDZ, 3 for Restart Coalition and 3 for Miroslav Škoro. The last seat will most likely go to Restart Coalition. 


VI. constituency (Zagreb South, Central Croatia) 

Restart Coalition gets 29.4%, HDZ gets 24.4%. Škoro's Coalition gets 11.7%, and Most is at 5.7%. Možemo! platform is close to the threshold at 4.4%. 

12 seats are certain, with 5 going to Restart, 4 to HDZ, 2 to Domovinski pokret and one to Most. Two remaining seats will probably go to Restart and HDZ. 

VII. constituency (Zagreb South-West, Western Croatia)

Restart Coalition gets 28.6%, HDZ 26.4%, and Škoro gets 11%. Možemo! platform is close to the threshold, 4.6%. 

12 certain seats will be distributed between Restart and HDZ (5 each) and Škoro (2). Two remaining seats will probably go to Restart and Možemo! 



VIII. constituency (Istria, Nothern Islands) 

Restart Coalition gets 47.2% of the votes, and HDZ gets 19.7%, and those are the only two slates certain to be over the threshold. Živi Zid, Možemo! and Domovinski Pokret are at just over 4% support, so close to a seat. 

The 12 certain seats go to Restart and HDZ (9:3), with the other mentioned options close to catching a seat, but the highest chances are they will go to Restart and HDZ.


IX. constituency (Lika, Northern Dalmatia)

HDZ gets 37.1% of the votes, Restart gets 20.2%, Miroslav Škoro gets 10.2%, Most 9.6% and Stipe Petrina Independent List is also over the threshold at 6.1%. 

13 certain seats go to HDZ (7), Restart (3), Domovinski pokret (1) and Stipe Petrina (1). The final seat will probably go to Restart Coalition.


X. constituency (Southern Dalmatia) 

33% of the votes go to HDZ, 26.2% are for Restart, Miroslav Škoro gets 8.5% and Most gets 8.3%. 

Out of the 13 certain seats, HDZ gets 6, Restart gets 5, and Škoro and Most get one each. The final seat will probably go to HDZ. 



Final Results: 

HRejting poll is certain about the 125 seats in the Croatian parliament: 

Restart - 52
HDZ - 51
Domovinski Pokret - 17
Most - 3
Možemo! - 1
Stipe Petrina - 1

If we added the remaining 15 to those slates which are given the highest probabilities of winning them, the situation would be like this: 

Restart - 60
HDZ - 54
Domovinski Pokret - 18
Most - 5
Možemo! - 2
Stipe Petrina - 1


One thing to keep in mind while considering these results is the timeframe during which the poll was conducted (June 14 - 22), so a large uncertainty still remains regarding how much the events of this previous week might've influenced the voters. And there's one whole week before the parliamentary elections ahead of us as well. 


Read more about Croatian politics and the 2020 parliamentary elections in Croatia here.


Saturday, 27 June 2020

Bridge Calls On Gov't To Explain How Election Will Be Held

ZAGREB, June 27, 2020 - The Bridge party said on Saturday the government, having organised an early parliamentary election, should instruct citizens on how it would be held and under which coronavirus protection measures.

Marija Selak Raspudic told reporters the election was seven days away and that citizens still did not know how to vote safely given "the epidemiological situation and the fact that Croatia, primarily because of the prime minister, has become anything but a safe country."

She said it was necessary to make sure that polling committee members and observers would come to the polling stations, otherwise, the election risked being "illegal." She also wondered how many diaspora voters would be prevented from voting and if, because of that, the election might be declared unconstitutional.

Asked if Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic should be self-isolating after a recent tennis tournament in Zadar, where an outbreak of coronavirus occurred, Nino Raspudic said it was very clear that one set of rules applied to the prime minister and another to the rest of the population.

He said the decision to hold the election early had been rushed to use the then popularity of the coronavirus crisis management team for political gain. "Now we see how many of the team's members are on HDZ slates. It's difficult to distinguish between the HDZ's election campaign and the team's press releases."

Saturday, 27 June 2020

SDP Tells Capak Not To Engage In Politics

ZAGREB, June 27, 2020 - Social Democratic Party (SDP) secretary-general Niksa Vukas said on Saturday that Public Health Institute director Krunoslav Capak (HDZ), a member of the national COVID-19 crisis management team, should deal with his profession, not politics.

Vukas was responding to Capak's statement earlier today that by deciding to self-isolate, the SDP's Rajko Ostojic was insulting epidemiologists.

He told reporters the crisis management team was not doing its job but campaigning for the HDZ (Croatian Democratic Union). "Three months ago, every contact went into self-isolation, now a person who has been in contact with an infected person and self-isolates of their own accord is an enemy."

The president of the SDP's health council, Danko Vrdoljak, said the current spike in infections was the result of the crisis management team's incomprehensible recommendations because people did not know how to behave.

The SDP's public health coordinator, Sasa Srica, again called on Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic to self-isolate because he was in close contact with an infected person.

He said the crisis management team should realise that the HDZ's election rallies were pandemic hotspots as they drew many people who did not keep a distance.

Saturday, 27 June 2020

Skoro Says Plenkovic Impervious to Criticism

ZAGREB, June 27, 2020 - Homeland Movement leader Miroslav Skoro said on Friday that the HDZ had moved away from the right-wing policy pursued by its former leader and Croatian president, the late Franjo Tudjman, and that its current leader Andrej Plenkovic was immune to any criticism.

Addressing a news conference in Dugo Selo outside Zagreb, he said that he did not want to patronise anyone, including the HDZ leader who was refusing to self-isolate following contacts with infected persons at the recent Adria Tour tennis tournament in Zadar, and who called such demands 'political folklore'.

Skoro said that he himself would get tested for the coronavirus as a responsible person even though he had not been in direct contact with Social Democrat Rajko Ostojic, with whom he had a debate recently and who has self-isolated due to contacts with another colleague in the SDP who has tested positive for COVID-19.

Skoro also said that he could not tell, when members of the national COVID-19 response team addressed the public if they were doing so as HDZ members or as health professionals, assessing that the team was not dealing with the latest epidemiological situation in the best possible way.

He criticised the team's head, Minister of the Interior Davor Bozinovic, for calling Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina eastern neighbours and closing the border to them, thus preventing the possibility for one part of Dalmatia to have any kind of tourist season this year.

Saturday, 27 June 2020

Plenkovic Says His Gov't To Raise Average Wage To HRK 7,600 By End Of Next Term

ZAGREB, June 27, 2020 - Prime Minister and HDZ party leader Andrej Plenkovic said during a tour of the sixth constituency on Friday that after his party formed the government after the elections, it would raise the average wage to HRK 6,700 and to HRK 7,600 by the end of its term.

Speaking to party members and supporters in Sisak, Plenkovic also said that the minimum wage would be increased from HRK 3,250 to 4,250 and that pensions, which have been increased by 12%, would be additionally raised by 10%.

Speaking of his government's achievements in the past term, he said that the law on the financing of local and regional government units had helped Sisak-Moslavina County obtain more budget funds.

He added that close to HRK 90 million had been allocated from the state budget for regional development in Sisak County, contracts had been signed for HRK 1.8 billion of EU funds and HRK 170 million had been provided for active employment measures in the county.

(€1 = HRK 7.566)

Friday, 26 June 2020

PM Plenkovic Says Doesn't See Any reason to Get Tested Again

ZAGREB, June 26, 2020 - Prime Minister and HDZ party leader Andrej Plenkovic said on Friday that at the moment he did not see any reason to get tested for the coronavirus again and that he usually consulted with experts on such matters.

"I am not a 'do it yourself' person when it comes to medical consultations, I have a habit of consulting with experts. That is what the Scientific Council is for. If they suggest that I do so, I will consider doing that. At the moment, I don't see any reason for it," he said during a visit to Koprivnica when asked by reporters if he planned to get tested for the coronavirus again.

Asked what would happen if it eventually turned out that he, too, was positive for COVID-19 after all the contacts he had at the recent Adria Tour tennis tournament in Zadar, he said that there was no need for him to answer hypothetical questions.

Friday, 26 June 2020

President Says Postponement Of Elections Theoretically Possible, But Won't Happen

ZAGREB, June 26, 2020 - President Zoran Milanovic said on Friday that due to an increase in the number of new coronavirus infections, postponement of parliamentary elections set for July 5 was theoretically possible but that he doubted that the election would be postponed.

Milanovic noted that postponement of the elections in the current situation would be constitutionally possible but that it would require his holding talks with the prime minister as well as understanding on the part of the Opposition.

"Such a situation is not exactly envisaged by the Constitution, but some sort of solution would be found. I believe it would be theoretically possible, but in practice that is not going to happen," Milanovic said after attending a graduation ceremony at the Dr Franjo Tudjman Military Academy.

Milanovic added that he would not initiate talks on the postponement of the elections because he had not been the one to dissolve the parliament.

"I said that elections should be held at some other time, but after that I stopped commenting. (PM) Plenkovic contacted me and I asked him about his priorities, and holding elections on June 21 was definitely not among them," Milanovic said in reference to Plenkovic's statement that "by dissolving Parliament in May we wanted the election to be held when the intensity of the coronavirus was lowest, and it was the President who decided that the election would be held on the second to last date possible under the constitution."

Milanovic went on to say that June 28 and July 5 had been discussed as possible dates.

"I said, 'They will be held on July 5'. Hindsight is a good thing, but one leaves traces. I cannot do anything with regard to elections now without the prime minister's initiative, but that, too, is questionable. That option has not been specified," he said when asked about the possibility of delaying the elections set for July 5.

Asked what would happen if the situation with the coronavirus escalated, Milanovic said that he did not know and that one should have thought about it sooner.

Asked about the politicisation of the national team managing the coronavirus crisis, Milanovic said that he, himself, was asking himself such questions but that he did not know the answer.

"I have been wondering about some things, but I have called the elections, they should be held on July 5, and that's it," he said.

Milanovic was also asked to comment on the Adria Tour tennis tournament in Zadar, at which several players have contracted COVID-19, including the world's No. 1 tennis player Novak Djokovic.

"We were breaking news on CNN yesterday morning, but not for positive things. CNN is watched by guests on whom we may have counted to visit, and now that's not going to happen. I understand the need to promote a destination, but maybe that was a mistake. If (Bulgarian tennis player Grigori) Dimitrov had told about his contracting the coronavirus a few hours later, maybe all this negative publicity would not have happened. I understand the motives, if this had not happened, we would have said that the tournament was a great show," Milanovic said.

He also commented on whether PM Plenkovic should go into self-isolation due to contact with Djokovic.

"You don't want to hear my opinion on self-isolation and how it is conducted. Plenkovic's problem is that both (German Chancellor Angela) Merkel and the Canadian prime minister went into self-isolation after exactly the same situation, and now he is being criticised."

A complete lockdown, such as the one that happened in March and April, is not possible again, he said.

"Whoever on the crisis management team said that there would be no lockdown again was right," Milanovic said, adding that one could not do more than wearing face masks and protecting the elderly and ill.

"There is no reason for panic. Elections will be held in a week's time and we'll see what happens," he said.

As for post-election consultations on the formation of the new parliamentary majority, Milanovic said that there was no set deadline by which he had to appoint the Prime Minister-designate but that consultations would first be held with those who bring him the 76 signatures of support required to form a majority.

"Consultations will really be consultations, not a parade. They will be very transparent, not the way they were in some other situations, which has undermined trust in democracy. I don't have a favourite in these elections," Milanovic said.

Friday, 26 June 2020

IDS: Croatia at Bottom of Ranking in EU for Digitisation

ZAGREB, June 26, 2020 - Member of European Parliament Valter Flego of the Istrian Democratic Party (IDS) has said that a key point in the IDS's platform for the July 5 parliamentary election is the digitisation and efficiency of the public administration system and that Croatia is at the bottom of the EU ladder for digitisation.

"Unfortunately, according to the latest survey of economic and social digitisation for 2020, Croatia is at the very bottom in the European Union for digitised public services, whereas Pula, for example, is an absolute champion in digitisation in Croatia," Flego underlined.

Noting that Europe is offering concrete help through EU funds and that Croatia must not let that opportunity pass by, Flego stressed that Croatia has a realistic opportunity to be at the very top in this field even though it has fallen to the very bottom due to the consequences of the government's negligence and ignorance when it comes to innovations, science, and digitisation.

"The Digital Europe programme has more than €8 billion at its disposal and it is up to us to absorb as much of those funds as possible. That is why it is exceptionally important to do that together with national, regional and local government units and that is why it is exceptionally important to know who will be sitting in the Sabor, which needs to adopt a series of laws towards that goal," concluded Flego.

Friday, 26 June 2020

HNS Would Go Into Coalition With Parties That Support Its Election Platform

ZAGREB, June 26, 2020 - The Croatian People's Party (HNS) presented its election slogan on Friday - "Croatia is loved through work," saying that its platform includes measures for the economy and free kindergartens, adding that HNS is prepared to go into a coalition with anyone that accepts its election platform.

HNS has real solutions for real problems and after the election, we will go into a coalition with those parties that accept our election platform, HNS leader Predrag Stromar said.

"We would go into a coalition with the HDZ (Croatian Democratic Union) or the SDP (Social Democratic Party), but not with just anyone. We cannot accept extremists or loudmouths, those who come into the parliament to earn money or act out some stupidity, those sort of people are unacceptable to us," he added.

HNS said that its election platform was prepared in cooperation with citizens and based on their questions and suggestions, the main issues including higher wages, free kindergartens and resolving housing issues.

Vrdoljak: HBOR needs to change its name and business method

"The Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development needs to change its name and method of business and be transformed into the Croatian Development Fund that will provide financing for businesses," said Ivan Vrdoljak.

Minister of Science and Education Blazenka Divjak advocates the adoption of a law to check diplomas in all public companies, agencies, and state administration bodies.

Friday, 26 June 2020

PM: Forthcoming Election Important For Country's Future, Date Decided By President

ZAGREB, June 26, 2020 - Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said on Thursday that the July 5 parliamentary election was very important for the future of the country and that the date was decided by the President.

By dissolving Parliament in May we wanted the election to be held when the intensity of the coronavirus was lowest, and it was the President who decided that the election would be held on the second to last date possible under the constitution, Plenkovic said in the eastern town of Vukovar.

Earlier in the day, during his visit to Vinkovci, he said that the election could also have been set for June 21.

Plenkovic reiterated that he did not think that the ongoing election campaign should be suspended because the Croatian healthcare system was capable of coping with the coronavirus outbreak. 

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