Sunday, 28 November 2021

First Round of Elections in SDP Completed, Zagreb Branch To Hold Another Round

ZAGREB, 28 Nov, 2021 - The first round of intraparty elections in the opposition Social Democratic Party (SDP) was held on Saturday, and the leader of the SDP Zagreb branch will be known next Saturday, with the two main contenders being Viktor Gotovac and Matej Mišić.

SDP members on Saturday elected presidents, vice presidents and members of party presidencies at the municipal and county levels.

The second round of intraparty elections for the Zagreb SDP branch will be held next Saturday, when SDP members will choose between Gotovac and Mišić.

Gotovac, a labour law professor at the Zagreb Law School, won 524 votes and Mišić 261.

In the first round of party elections the leaders of SDP town branches were elected, with Rijeka Mayor Marko Filipović having been elected the new president of the SDP branch in Rijeka, while the SDP branch in Osijek elected Milan Blagojević its leader and the branch in Split Damir Barbir.

Ostojić, Hajdaš Dončić re-elected leaders of SDP county branches

In the first round of party elections, Ranko Ostojić was re-elected leader of the SDP branch in Split-Dalmatia County while Siniša Hajdaš Dončić was re-elected president of the SDP branch in Krapina-Zagorje County.

Also re-elected to their posts were Mihael Zmajlović as head of the SDP branch in Zagreb County, Barbara Antolić Vupora as head of the party branch in Varaždin County, Umag Mayor Vili Bassanese as head of the Istria County SDP banch, Mitar Obradović as head of the SDP branch in Požega-Slavonia County and Kristina Ikić Baniček as head of the SDP branch in Sisak-Moslavina County.

The newly elected heads of SDP branches in other counties are Ivica Lukanović in Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, Jure Zubčić in Zadar County, Ploče Mayor Mišo Krstičević in Dubrovnik-Neretva County, Krešimir Čulinović in Lika-Senj County, Mario Vučinić in Brod-Posavina County, Sanja Bježančević in Osijek-Baranja County, Goran Heffer in Vukovar-Srijem County, Tomislav Golubić in Koprivnica-Križevci County and Dalibor Domitrović in Karlovac County.

SDP members will choose between Karlo Klarin and Ivan Rajić for head of the SDP branch in Šibenik-Knin County in the second round next Saturday.

Elections for the SDP branch in Međimurje County were postponed due to a repeat of local elections in that county on 28 November, as were intraparty elections in Bjelovar-Bilogora County.

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Sunday, 3 October 2021

Additional Minority Elections Being Held on Sunday

ZAGREB, 3 Oct, 2021 - Additional minority elections are being held in Croatia on Sunday, with 131,000 voters electing 90 members of local councils and regional assemblies, and in Pazin, the administrative seat of Istria County, an early election is being held for the 13-seat city council.

The additional elections are held in 16 counties and the City of Zagreb, at 565 polling stations, and most of them are in Sisak-Moslavina County (84) and Vukovar-Srijem County (69), while there is only one in Split-Dalmatia County.

There are 490 candidates on 108 slates running in the elections.

The additional elections are held because the regular local elections held in May failed to secure sufficient representation of six ethnic minorities in some local councils and regional assemblies, as well as representation of the Croat communities in the eastern municipalities of Borovo, Trpinja and Jagodnjak. One Croat is to be elected to the council of each of these municipalities.

Croats on SDSS slate In Borovo

In Trpinja, two independent slates, with Krunoslav Bručić and Ruža Tanacković as lead candidates, are running for the council seat, in Jagodnjak, only the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) has submitted its slate, while in Borovo only the Independent Democratic Serb Party (SDSS) is running in the election, with all four candidates on its slate being ethnic Croats.

In Jagodnjak, the SDSS is also running in the election for a councillor from the Roma minority, with four Roma candidates on its slate.

In these three municipalities, 871 ethnic Croats have a right to vote in the additional elections. Only voters who are registered as members of a national minority can vote in the additional minority elections, and they must reside in the area of the unit for which the elections have been called.

The State Election Commission (DIP) will publish the first provisional results on its website at 9 am on Monday, 4 October.

Pazin holding early election for city council

On Sunday, Pazin is holding an early election for its 13-seat city council, and about 7,300 voters can cast their ballots at 16 polling stations.

The early election has been called because after the regular local elections in May, none of the five parties that entered the city council, including the Istrian Democratic Party (IDS), which has been in power for years, secured the necessary majority. Of the 13 councillors, six were from the IDS, four from the We Can! political platform, one from the Social Democratic Party (SDP), one from the HDZ and one was independent. The council was not formed within the statutory deadline even after three attempts, so the government has called an early election.

Candidates of five slates are running for a seat in the city council -- the slates of the HDZ, the SDP, the We Can! political platform, the IDS/HSU/HNS coalition and an independent slate of a group of voters led by Željko Mrak.

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Wednesday, 25 August 2021

Croatia to Hold Additional Minority Elections on 3 Oct

ZAGREB, 25 Aug, 2021 - The deadlines for the 3 October additional elections for representatives of ethnic minorities in councils in 16 cities and 55 municipalities and in 11 county assemblies started running on Wednesday, the State Election Commission (DIP) said today.

Slates with candidates running in those polls should be submitted to DIP until the midnight on 7 September, and can be proposed by political parties and by groups of citizens who want to be represented by independent candidates.

The State Election Commission calls for respecting gender balance which means at least 40% of candidates on a slate should be from one gender. Otherwise, the slates can be fined between 20,000-40,000 kuna.

Additional elections for minority representatives have been called for the units of local authorities in which the required representatives of the ethnic minority concerned was not achieved during the local elections in May.

Thus, a total of 74 seats designated for ethnic Serbs, 11 for ethnic Roma representatives, four for ethnic Italians and three for ethnic Hungarians and Bosniaks each as well as a seat designated for ethnic Ukrainians' representative remained vacant after the local elections.

 Also, Croatians who a smaller ethnic group in the municipalities of Borovo, Trpinja and Jagodnjak will elect their representatives for those local municipal councils on 3 October.

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Sunday, 30 May 2021

DIP Incomplete Results: Incumbents in Lead in Vukovar, Dubrovnik, Sisak, Zadar

ZAGREB, 30 May, 2021 -  According to first results released by the State Electoral Commission (DIP) at 8 p.m., the current mayors in several cities took the lead in the mayoral runoff on Sunday.

Thus, independent candidate Ivan Penava was in the lead ahead of Nikola Mažar of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) , with 4,542 to 3,982 votes.

In Varaždin, Neven Bosilj of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) was ahead of the current mayor, independent candidate Ivan Čehok.

The current mayor of Dubrovnik, HDZ's Mate Franković, was also in the lead ahead of Pero Vićan of the Dubrovnik Democratic Assembly (DDS).

In Sisak, the incumbent Kristina Ikić Baniček of the SDP  won 3,597 votes while HDZ's Željka Josić took 3,540 votes, according to incomplete results.

In Zadar, the incumbent Branko Dukić (HDZ, HSP, SU, Reformists) was ahead of Marko Vučetić (SDP, AM, HSS, Glas, Centre).

In Pula, Helena Puh Belci of the Istrian Democratic Party (IDS)  took the lead ahead of independent candidate Filip Zoričić.

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Saturday, 29 May 2021

Croatia Holding Election Runoffs on Sunday

ZAGREB, 29 May 2021 - The second round of local elections will take place on Sunday for the mayors of 57 cities and 87 municipalities as well as for the prefects of 14 counties in Croatia.

During the second round of voting, 3,231,000 citizens are eligible to vote at nearly, 5,500 polling stations that will be set up in 432 cities and municipalities.

Four biggest cities to get new mayors

The results of mayoral runoffs will show who will run the four biggest Croatian in the next four years. In the capital city of Zagreb, the mayoral candidate of the Green-Left Coalition, Tomislav Tomašević of the We Can party faces off Miroslav Škoro of the Homeland Movement party (DP), whereas in Split, the mayoral runoff includes Vice Mihanović of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) and Ivica Puljak of the Centre party.

In Rijeka, Marko Filipović of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and independent Davor Štimac are vying for the mayoral of this northern Adriatic seaport, and in Osijek, Ivan Radić of the HDZ and Berislav Mlinarević, supported by the DP party and the Bridge party, are running in the mayoral runoff.

Those four cities will have new mayors, as none of the incumbents are in the mayoral race. In Zagreb Milan Bandić, who was at the helm of the city for 20 years, died of heart attacks on 28 February.

The outgoing mayors of Osijek and Split, Ivica Vrkić and Andro Krstulović Opara (HDZ), decided not to run for a new term, citing health reasons.

The outgoing Rijeka mayor Vojko Obersnel, an SDP official, who has been at the helm of Rijeka since 2000,  said before these local elections that the time had come for younger politicians to take the helm and supported Marko Filipović of the SDP as his successor.

Another major cities, which are county seats, for instance Varaždin, Dubrovnik, Vukovar and Sisak will have the mayoral runoffs between the incumbents and the new opponents.

In Pula, which was run by Boris Miletić of the Istrian Democratic Party (IDS) until these polls, the IDS official Helena Puh Belci faces off independent candidate Filip Zoričić.

Six counties get prefects in 1st round, 14 to have runoffs

Six counties elected their prefects in the first round of voting on 16 May, when the winners won more than 50% of the ballot, and the remaining 14 counties will have runoffs for their prefects on Sunday.

Of those six winners in the first round, four are HDZ representatives: Antonija Jozić of Požega-Slavona, Igor Andrilović of Virovitica-Podravina County, Ivan Anušić of Osijek-Baranja County and Danijel Marušić of Slavonski-Brod Posavina County.

Social Democrat (SDP) official Željko Kolar was reelected prefect of Krapina-Zagorje County and Matija Posavec, an independent candidate, was reelected as the head of Međimurje County.

In the other 14 counties, the first two vote-getters will participate in the runoffs on 30 May.

Anti-epidemic measures to be implemented at polling stations

Voters going to the polls on Sunday are required to wear protective masks and they are also advised to have their own pencils. Although the epidemiological situation has improved since the first round of the voting, the same anti-epidemic measures will be implemented on Sunday.

Polling stations open from 7 am to 7 pm

The polling stations will open on 7 am and close at 7 pm. The course of voting will be observed by 8,334 monitors, and the lion's share of them have been proposed by political parties running in the elections, while a mere 17 monitors will be at polling stations on behalf of nongovernmental organisations

Sunday, 23 May 2021

34 Candidates in Local Elections Haven't Submitted Financial Reports

ZAGREB, 23 May, 2021 - The legal obligation to submit financial reports seven days before the second round of local elections has been met by 283 out of 317 candidates, the State Electoral Commission said on Sunday.

The reports, including expenses, contributions and media advertising discounts, had to be submitted by midnight Saturday.

Reports were submitted by all 30 candidates for county prefects and the mayor of Zagreb as well as their deputies, 98 out of 110 mayoral candidates and 155 out of 177 candidates for municipal heads and their deputes.

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Saturday, 22 May 2021

PM: HDZ Is Centre-Right Party, Voters Should Vote According to Their Conscience

ZAGREB, 22 May 2021 - Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said on Saturday that his HDZ party was a centre-right, state-building, patriotic, people's, Christian democratic party, calling on voters to vote in the second round of local elections in Zagreb on 30 May according to their conscience.

"The party's position has not changed... we know our values and platform. We respect our voters and recommend that they vote according to their conscience in the runoff," Plenković said during a visit to Primorje-Gorski Kotar County.

Asked which of the two candidates for the Zagreb mayor, Tomislav Tomašević or Miroslav Škoro, would be easier to cooperate with, Plenković said that he respected voters' will.

"Whoever wins voters' trust is a collocutor to me as the prime minister. We have been pursuing a policy of balanced regional development in all parts of Croatia. It was never a problem for me to talk to representatives who are in the opposition at the national level and are in power in some part of the country. The same will apply to Zagreb," he said.

Vaccination as a way to achieve a better tourist season

Asked if current epidemiological restrictions could be relaxed sooner, that is on 27 May, as demanded by restaurant and bar owners, Plenković said that the epidemiological situation would be discussed in the coming week.

"The figures are very, very good. Compared to the week before, there are fewer infections, the number of people who have got vaccinated is growing, and vaccination provides protection against the worst outcomes. We must make decisions that will help maintain the current good trends and not jeopardise the tourist season," he said.

Plenković recalled that of the epidemiological restrictions, the only ones to remain in force were bans on events and gatherings of more than 25 people, on stay in indoor areas of restaurants and bars, and on indoor sport activities. As for everything else, we have been living more or less normally while other countries have had major restrictions, Plenković said.

Speaking of the tourist season, he said that it was up to Croatia to create conditions, through the vaccination of tourism workers and other workers in the services sector, that will help visitors stay safe.

Germany's decision very good, first wave of tourists in July

Germany has taken Croatia off the red list of countries with a high risk of coronavirus, and as of midnight on Sunday, Croatia will no longer be considered a high-risk but a risk region.

Commenting on this, Plenković said that the decision was good because Germany was one of Croatia's biggest tourist markets.

He noted that he had been in touch with state officials from other countries whose citizens could hardly wait to visit Croatia again and that the first bigger tourist wave was expected in July.

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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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Wednesday, 19 May 2021

Local Elections Main Topic in Croatian Parliament

ZAGREB, 19 May, 2021 - Sunday's local elections were the main topic of speeches in the Croatian parliament on Wednesday morning.

Dalija Orešković, speaking on behalf of the Civic Liberal Alliance (GLAS) and Centre group, said that the results of the vote showed that citizens were becoming aware that government could be changed. She urged the opposition in parliament to begin dialogue on the reform of the electoral legislation and administrative structure of Croatia.

"We have three years ahead of us to reform electoral legislation and electoral units to make them constitutional and fair, to ensure that each vote counts equally, and to reduce the number of counties, towns and municipalities," Orešković said.

She congratulated "all new progressive forces that made it into the second round of elections, thus threatening the survival of the petrified and corrupt structures of the existing government."

Andreja Marić of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) warned of double standards used by the national coronavirus response team, which allowed the opening of the borders on election day despite the epidemiological criteria in place.

"What kind of message does that send to the public? How can we expect people to comply with the measures if such decisions that mock us all are made?" Marić asked.

She recalled that medical professionals had warned that they expected a rise in the number of new infections in the next three weeks as a result of this decision. "The ruling parties heed only messages that suit them politically," Marić said.

Silvano Hrelja of the Croatian Peasant Party (HSS) and Croatian Pensioners' Party (HSU) group drew attention to the low turnout. "Those most dissatisfied again stayed at home," he said.

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Tuesday, 18 May 2021

70 Cities Elect Mayors in 1st Round of Elections

ZAGREB, 18 May, 2021 - During the local elections held throughout Croatia on 16 May, a total of 70 cities managed to elect their heads in the first round of voting, while others will have mayoral runoffs on 30 May.

Of those 70 mayors, who clinched the victory in the first round of voting when they gained the support of more than 50% of the voters who turned out for the elections, 36 winners are from the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), or six fewer than in 2017, whereas 13 Social Democratic Party (SDP) mayoral candidates gained outright victory, or one more than in the first round of the local elections in 2017.

Seven female mayors winners in first round

Of those 70 mayors elected in the first round of the elections, seven are women.

According to the report provided by the gradonačelnik.hr portal, there is a rising trend in the election of mayoral candidates who are not members of political parties and who are introduced as independent candidates. Ten independent mayors were elected on Sunday.

Donja Stubica mayor reelected with support of more than 83% of voters

Of the winners with an outright victory on 16 May, the most successful mayor who managed to gain the largest support was independent Nikola Gospočić, who was reelected for another term in Donja Stubica with 83.01% of the voters who went to the polls voting for him. In the previous term, he was a member of the SDP party and left it before these elections.

Another independent mayor, Dinko Burić, won 82.15% of the support for his new mayoral term in the eastern city of Belišće.

In terms of the percentage of support, Darijo Vasilić of the regional PGS party ranks third, winning 80.26% of votes for another mayoral term in the City of Krk.

Of the regional parties, the Istrian Democratic Party (IDS) remains the strongest. In the first round of the voting, five IDS candidates were elected mayors.

Four biggest cities to have mayoral runoffs

Zagreb

Tomislav Tomašević of the We Can!, New Left, ORAH and For the City coalition took the lead in the mayoral race for Zagreb on Sunday, winning 45% of votes, and will face-off with Miroslav Škoro of the Homeland Movement party (12%) in the second round of the elections.

Split

In the biggest Croatian Adriatic city, Ivica Puljak (Centre) and Vice Mihanović (HDZ) will face off in the 30 May runoff. Puljak won 26.82% and Mihanović 23.23%.

Rijeka

In the northern coastal city of Rijeka, the current deputy mayor Marko Filipović (SDP, HSU, IDS, HSS) won 30.25% of votes, followed by independent Davor Štimac (16.10%).

Osijek

In the eastern city of Osijek, Ivan Radić (HDZ) won nearly 39% of votes, ahead of independent Berislav Mlinarević, backed by the Homeland Movement and Bridge (about 20%), and they will vie in the second round of the elections on 30 May.

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