Thursday, 19 May 2022

Split To Hold Early Local Elections On 26 June

ZAGREB, 19 May 2022 - The Croatian government on Thursday called snap elections in the City of Split for 26 June.

On 26 June, eligible voters will go to the polls to elect the mayor, the two deputy mayors and a new 31-seat city council.

The snap polls will be organised after Split Mayor Ivica Puljak (the Centre party) and his two deputies Bojan Ivošević and Antonio Kuzmanić -- stepped down recently after an indictment was upheld against Ivošević for threatening a reporter.

For more, check out our politics section.

Monday, 21 February 2022

Right-Wing Opposition: Why Would Left-Wing Opposition Be Better than Present Government?

21 February, 2022 - The demand by the centre-left opposition parties in the Croatian parliament on Monday for an early election and the Bridge party's initiative for dissolution of parliament received a lukewarm response from right-wing parties. 

"Croatian Sovereignists are of the view that there should be a radical government reshuffle because this government has lost its legitimacy. If that does not happen, we should not shun away from an early election," the party's MP Marijan Pavliček said while commenting on the demand for an early election following the arrest of Economy Minister Darko Horvat.

He said that an early election was advocated by Social Democratic Party leader Peđa Grbin, who was recently "caught with his hand in the cookie jar" for receiving the family separation allowance and is now "pretending to be a very moral person."

"What makes him different from those who have been arrested? He is a small-time crook and they are big-time crooks," Pavliček said.

"I'm not sure that those aspiring to come to power are much better and that they can promise the Croatian people a change, as shown by their two leaders Bauk and Grbin," added Milan Vrkljan (For a Just Croatia), adding that such people cannot be guarantors of change.

Independent Hrvoje Zekanović said: "What I am in favour of is irrelevant. Whatever the quasi-opposition may be predicting and gathering signatures for is irrelevant, because Andrej Plenković has a majority in parliament and hence a stable government."

Asked whether, if necessary, he would be the 77th hand for Plenković and the majority led by his Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), Zekanović said that he was in the opposition and that he had not discussed this with the prime minister.

Pavliček said that the Sovereignists would announce their position on Bridge's initiative on Wednesday, while Vrkljan said that Bridge had not asked anything of them yet.

Thursday, 17 February 2022

Plenković Calls On Croat And Bosniak Leaders To Agree On A Fair Election Law

ZAGREB, 17 Feb 2022- Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković called on Bosnia and Herzegovina's Croat and Bosniak leaders on Thursday to make the extra effort to agree on a fair election law in that country.

"I once again call on the leaders of the Bosniak and Croat political parties, especially before a meeting of the Croat National Assembly in Mostar on Saturday, to try and resolve this problem in a fair and constructive way, and Croatia, as a friendly country, will help Bosnia and Herzegovina on its European path," Plenković said in Brussels.

Ahead of an informal EU summit on the Ukraine crisis and an EU-Africa summit, Plenković met with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, discussing the extension of the deadline for the use of EU funding for the post-earthquake reconstruction of Zagreb, the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Croatia's journey towards membership of the Schengen area and the euro zone.

"Our position is clear: it is vital for the next election (in Bosnia and Herzegovina) to be held under a new, fair election law that will ensure legitimate representation, rather than hold the election at any cost, as a result of which the Croats might again be left feeling bad and the state would not be functioning well," Plenković said.

As for Croatia's Schengen bid, he said that the process was now "in the final stage of decision making." 

For more, check out our politics section.

Wednesday, 19 May 2021

Electoral Roll to be Updated by Next Election

ZAGREB, 19 May, 2021 - Public Administration Minister Ivan Malenica said on Wednesday that by the time of the next election the electoral roll will have been cleaned up, following comments by reporters that it does not reflect the real number of voters considering how many people have emigrated but are still registered.

There are 3,660,165 voters registered in the electoral roll that the ministry has for the local election on 16 May, with 60,000 fewer eligible voters compared to the election in 2017, Malenica told reporters.

"Naturally, there are certain situations when the relevant bodies cannot determine whether a certain person has residency in Croatia. That is up to them to determine and that is a data that the Ministry of Justice and Public Administration has eliminated as being relevant to the electoral roll," said Malenica.

Asked whether 250,000 Croatians who registered in Germany in 2013 had cancelled their registration in Croatia, Malenica briefly said that that question should be sent to the Interior Ministry.

He believes however, that it is necessary to check the relevancy of data in the electoral roll against the population census and residency and address people are registered at.

Asked whether he would propose for the electoral roll to be audited, because it is constantly being said that too few people take to the polls, Malenica said that regulations would be changed before the next election and that the electoral roll would be updated.

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Sunday, 16 May 2021

Rijeka: SDP-led Coalition Wins 11 Seats in City Council - Exit Polls

ZAGREB, 16 May, 2021 - The coalition led by the Social Democratic Party (SDP) won 11 of 31 seats in the Rijeka City Council, or 29.40% of the vote, in local elections on Sunday, exit polls showed.

The Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) received 16.76% (6 seats), followed by the Independent Slate of Davor Štimac on 10.98% (4 seats), the Bridge party on 10.002% (3 seats), the We Can!-New Left coalition on 8.001% (3 seats), the PGS-Labour coalition on 7.95% (2 seats) and the Youth Action-Kvarner Union-Alternativa coalition on 6.61% (2 seats).

For more news about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Sunday, 16 May 2021

Ministry: Number of Arrivals on Election Day Similar to Two Previous Sundays

ZAGREB, 16 May 2021 - On election day, between midnight and noon, 892 Croatian nationals entered Croatia on the grounds of compelling personal reasons, which is similar to the average number of entries last Sunday and two weeks ago, the Ministry of the Interior said on Sunday.  

On 2 May, 724 Croatians entered the country and on 9 May 683 did so.

The ministry said that delays on some border crossings on the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia were due to passengers returning after a long weekend in some EU member-countries, and passenger traffic was also more intense on border crossings between Croatia and Slovenia.

With regard to inquiries about the arrival of Croatian nationals with the right to vote in local elections, regardless of the country they come from, the ministry recalls that the decision currently in force that bans or restricts border crossing defines exceptions in cases of compelling personal reasons, the right to vote being one of them.

It notes that persons travelling for compelling persons reasons must not stay in Croatia for more than 12 hours and that if they do not leave within that period, they are subject to epidemiological restrictions defined by the decision in force. 

The ministry recalls that during their stay in Croatia all passengers, regardless of their category or the country they come from, are obliged to comply with general and special recommendations and instructions by the Croatian Public Health Institute.

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Saturday, 26 September 2020

Election of the new SDP Leader Have Started at 7 O'clock

ZAGREB, Sept 26, 2020  - The process of the election of the new SDP leader started at 7 o'clock on Saturday morning at 286 polling stations organized by this Opposition party throughout the country.

The election was called for 26 September after Davor Bernardic resigned following the party's defeat in the 5 July parliamentary elections.

The five candidates are vying for the presidency of the strongest Opposition party: Omisalj Mayor Mirela Ahmetovic, parliamentarian Pedja Grbin, Krapina-Zagorje County Prefect Zeljko Kolar, SDP Split country branch leader Ranko Ostojic, and an SDP official from Pula, Marino Percan.

Some 12,000 members are entitled to exercise their voting right in this poll.

The results are expected to be released on Saturday evening.

According to some forecasts, none of the five candidates are likely to receive more than 50 percent of the vote, and therefore first two vote-getters will compete in a run-off in seven days' time.

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Sunday, 28 June 2020

Skoro Distances Himself From Those Who Committed Crimes

ZAGREB, June 28, 2020 - Homeland Movement leader Miroslav Skoro on Sunday strongly distanced himself from "those who committed any criminal offence yet are in politics," saying that if Davorka Smokovic, a candidate on one of their lists, won a seat in parliament, she would cede it to the party.

The media have reported that the Homeland Movement's slate for Constituency No. 8 includes Smokovic, a former Pazin municipal prosecutor who was recently convicted of corruption.

In a press release, Skoro admitted to his part of the blame, saying the Homeland Movement could not control the "deep state" and vet people the usual way.

He said it was necessary to amend the election law because now the Homeland Movement could not legally take Smokovic off the slate.

Earlier today, Smokovic said in a press release that she was pulling out of the campaign. She said she had not received any Supreme Court ruling but that she did not want her "alleged burden" to be transferred onto the Homeland Movement in any way.

Smokovic added that if she won a seat in parliament, she would cede it to the party.

Sunday, 28 June 2020

Bozinovic: All Voters Will Be Enabled To Vote

ZAGREB, June 28, 2020 - Although over 2,000 people in Croatia are self-isolating, the head of the national civil protection authority said on Saturday that all voters would be enabled to vote in the July 5 parliamentary election.

"That's a query we will forward to the State Electoral Commission, which is in constant contact with the Croatian Institute of Public Health, which will provide a framework for how to organise the election and do everything so that it is a controlled situation," Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic said on Nova TV.

Commenting on the coronavirus hotspot in Djakovo, he said epidemiologists had responded promptly and that a certain number of people were in self-isolation, but that there was no need for quarantine.

He said the local civil protection authority would consider some restrictions which would not result in enclosures but the postponement of some events.

Bozinovic said the situation on the border crossings with Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina was being monitored daily and that control had been stepped up until June 30. He said the European Union had recommended that borders with Southeast European countries be reopened as of July 1.

"A balanced solution will be sought that is in the interest of protecting the health of all citizens and maintaining economic activity."

As for the increase in the number of infected young people in night clubs, Bozinovic said inspection teams would continue to visit the clubs, although the goal was not closures and layoffs but health protection.

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."

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