Friday, 16 July 2021

Davor Nađi Interview: "Fokus Party Not for American-style Economy, Dutch or Scandinavian Preferred"

July 16, 2021 - One month after the local elections in Croatia, the liberal/center Fokus party president shares with TCN reflections of his Zagreb mayor candidacy, details on political views, plans, and hope for the future of Croatia. Learn more about the Fokus party in an exclusive Davor Nađi interview conducted by TCN reporter Ivor Kruljac.

2021 local elections for Croatia concluded back in June, and as with every local election, the majority of political parties whose candidates earned some new positions in the local governments managed to taste both victories and losses are overall happy. Some parties from both left and right political wings celebrated as scientists whose work won the Nobel prize. Even election losses were interpreted as victories, drawing attention to the number of votes, that although they may not score political roles, show growing support. If there is a once in four years occasion when political parties have as much optimism as the Croatian Adriatic has drops of water, it’s the local elections. 

Currently in parliamentary opposition, Davor Nađi, president of the Fokus political party, politically declared as center-oriented, also doesn't hide his optimism following the result, but it seems he is a bit more toned down in that excitement than some of his political competitors. Satisfied to see his colleagues from the party keeping their previous positions, and some even selected for new ones, he is expecting the Fokus party to grow in the future while remaining aware of Fokus being new and young on the scene - is careful to say more than he can bargain for. Nađi ran for Zagreb mayor, but in the end, didn't manage to win neither the "main prize" nor a seat in the Zagreb Assembly. He noted, however, that his candidacy helped to attract new Fokus members in Zagreb, but again stating it without grandiose announcements, rather with mild optimism, careful not to step out of the line of realism. 

In an e-mail interview, Nađi commented what happened in the Zagreb elections, did NGOs stepped out of line in supporting current mayor Tomislav Tomašević, and what do Fokus voters find attractive in the political party best known for reforming the town of Sveta Nedelja. Are they American-styles libertarians as described by some, and what European politicians are in line with Fokus’s ideas, are just some of the things Nađi revealed in the interview.  


screenshot / N1

You are the president of the Fokus party, and candidates from your party had won in Sv. Nedelja, Samobor, Sv. Ivan Zelina and Dugo Selo. So, your party currently has four mayors. Can you list for our readers where your party had candidates for mayors, assemblies, and counties? How do you comment on „your mayor's" first-month post-election, and what moves would you point out as excellent in that time?

Except for these four cities, we also won in the municipalities of Križ and Pirovac. We ran for mayors and local and regional assemblies mostly in central Croatia (Zagreb and Zagreb county) but also in Čakovec, Slatina, Petrinja, Pirovac. We won 50 members of local and regional assemblies, including the president of assembly in Čakovec.

Most of our mayors were reelected, so they just continued working on projects. However, I would like to point out our new mayor of the city of Samobor, Petra Škrobot, who already contracted procurement of software for transparency of city budget and public procurement, which is one of the flagship policies of the Fokus party.

How would you briefly explain to our readers what your party represents and advocates politically? What politicians, foreign or Croatians are your role models, and why?

We represent the fight for lower taxes and fewer regulations for citizens and the private sector and for a more efficient public sector. That means that we want that people and companies can keep more of the money they earn for themselves and decide on what they want to spend it. For example, that is the only correct way to solve the housing problem – to make sure that people earn and keep more money. Further on, that means that the private sector gets better value for money through better service of the public sector where, in our vision, worst or/and unnecessary public servants would be let go, and the best workers would get a financial reward. We also talk and act on investments in infrastructure, which is important for preparing for future climate change challenges.

I can’t say I have some role models in politics, but I like the politics of Dutch PM regarding the economy because they have a small and efficient public sector that provides good service to their citizens. That allows them to keep their economy very competitive, which results in a better life for their people.

You express deep care for private investments, lowering taxes, and overall creating a better environment for private business and entrepreneurship. But, when talking about entrepreneurs in Croatia, people roll their eyes as many of our famous „entrepreneurs“ are associated with crime, corruption ties to politics, and unfair privatization that ended up in many people losing their job. What is your opinion on these entrepreneurs, such as Todorić or Horvatinčić? How to fix that negative perception of entrepreneurs?

Yes, the private sector is very important to us. We care about entrepreneurs but also about their employees. We also care about the best public servants too. 

I think that public opinion on entrepreneurs is changing in a good way because of a new generation of successful entrepreneurs that succeeded in the global market with no connections to the government. Todorić and Horvatinčić are the exact opposite of them and represent everything that is wrong with this country. It’s wrong to call them entrepreneurs because they are a product of crony capitalism. The only cure to fight people like them is an independent and efficient judiciary.    

New option for liberals in Croatia 

You ran for mayor in Zagreb. The polls didn't give you too much of a chance, but libertarian (classical liberal) oriented site said that you could be „the biggest surprise of the Zagreb elections“. To tell you the truth, it didn't seem likely you will become a mayor, but I was very surprised you didn't win a seat in the assembly. What went wrong in Zagreb, and how is it possible that the city with the most developed business climate and entrepreneurship (and with a lot of entrepreneurs) didn't reward your entrepreneurship-oriented ideas, at least with the seat in the assembly?

Well, Fokus is a new party, and I’m relatively new in politics, so a lot of people weren’t informed about our program and achievements. Fokus party didn’t exist in Zagreb until this year, while other parties were building their organization for many years, so it was hard to catch up in just a few months period during a partial lockdown. However, even though we didn’t win a seat in the assembly, we achieved some other goals. Now we have a lot of new members, and a strong organization in Zagreb and a lot of people have heard about FOKUS for the first time. Further on, we are the strongest liberal party in Zagreb, and we had better results than a lot of old traditional parties. So I believe that in the future, our support will only grow in Zagreb.


Davor Nađi during his campaign in Zagreb © Davor Nađi

You said on your Facebook site that you didn't receive enough media attention, and indeed you weren't invited to the debates (with the explanation being that only those who earned 5% in polls will be invited). However, you had banners and posters across Zagreb where you talked about how you are experienced to be a mayor because of Sveta Nedelja, where you were a deputy mayor, and the town did receive media attention few years back for amazing changes introduced there. What was your contribution to the transparency of public servants, lowering taxes, and canceling the subtax in Sveta Nedelja as deputy mayor? 

I was the designer of those policies with the strong support of mayor Zurovec and the city council, and I was working on these policies from the beginning until the implementation. I’m very proud of that because Sveta Nedelja did the biggest tax cut in Croatia, became the most transparent city in Croatia, and received a reward for the best local economy three years in a row.   

You criticized some of the moves by the new Zagreb mayor Tomislav Tomašević. Can you repeat what do you find problematic in his governance so far, but also, is there anything positive, something you would support him in if you made it to the Zagreb assembly?

There are some things that are good, and some are not. I reacted on one occasion, but let's wait a little bit more time before I can comment general impression so far.

However, for our readers who are foreign and didn't have the chance to see your comment in Croatian, can you briefly explain what did you found problematic with Tomašević early on to the point that you had to react publicly?

He stopped most of the public procurement. Even though I understand his concern that there might be corruption problems, that is not the way to solve that problem. That problem should be solved with better process and clear guidance from the mayor to the city administration because if public procurement is stopped for too long, there will be problems for citizens. On the other hand, in a short period of time new mayor will not be able to change much if he doesn’t make the process of public procurement more transparent and efficient. 

Far from the US philosophy

 Once on N1, you said political parties in Croatia are still pretty socialistic. Since on that occasion you were a guest at N1 regarding Zagreb Reconstruction Bill, did you mean they were socialistic just in that regard or in general? Are Croatians also socialistic too?

They are socialistic in general, and that bill was just the latest example. That orientation of political parties in Croatia resulted in a situation in which an enormous part of the economy depends on the state so we actually have crony capitalism. That sends the wrong message to the people, so people lose self-confidence and think they can’t earn for themselves and their families, and instead, they rely on the state to help them in every aspect of their life. They simply don’t take into account the fact that the state is corrupt and inefficient, which may be because of inadequate financial literacy.

However, it seems to me that the tide is changing with the lead from the local level from cites like Sveta Nedelja and that people are beginning to see the benefits of liberal policies.

When you say the parties are socialistic, some could think this is the heritage of Yugoslavia. However, aside from the communist experiences of South-Eastern Europe, the overall European political culture and tradition goes along the way „yes to democracy, yes to free market, yes to the individual freedoms“ but also „yes to social care, yes to free health, yes to free education, yes to supporting cultural and artistic projects, scientific research, etc“. Many people see Fokus as being against that and wanting to dismantle that European political culture with American political culture, which seems to be notorious in Europe for its health and education system, which as people see it, „is alright if you have cash, but not for the poor“. Are you indeed into „making Croatia American rather than European?“ and if so, how would you address the mentioned sectors of health, education, culture, and science? What about HRT in that context (as the idea of a public TV financed by the state is a European invention in the media landscape)?

Of course, we are not for an American-style economy. We prefer the Dutch or Scandinavian style with high economic freedom and adequate social benefits. Some people don’t understand that “free” health care doesn’t exist. Taxpayers pay for that. And if we think a little bit more about our health care system, do we really have health care that is accessible to the poor? How long are the waiting lists? People pay taxes for health care, and when they need it, then they don’t get it. That is not free health care! Almost the same is for everything else. I believe that vouchers would solve that problem because then even poor people could afford health care service from the private sector, and the public health care system would have to be more efficient and provide better value for money. The same thing is possible with education. HRT should be significantly downsized, and subscriptions decreased with the option to opt-out from their service.

When it comes to the overall Croatian political landscape, Fokus does offer something truly different from other political options, and it seems quite right to expect that Fokus will continue to grow. But, what do you think made Fokus uprise to start in central Croatia, in Sveta Nedelja, Samobor, Dugo Selo, and Sv. Ivan Zelina? Is there something that makes the culture and society in these areas different comparing to the rest of Croatia that they were the first to recognize and give a chance to your program?

Fokus also has a mayor of Pirovac in Dalmatia and president of the city council in Čakovec, members of City council in Slatina, etc, so I wouldn’t say that our policies are only recognized in central Croatia. However, we have better support in parts of Croatia, where fewer people work in the public sector and more in the private sector. That is not surprising since we promote policies that would result in a more efficient public sector and less red tape and taxation for the private sector. 

 Davor_during_his_campaing_in_Zagreb.jpg© Davor Nađi

 Up next: European elections and Croatian Parliament 

On the note of local success, many view local elections as a forecast for what can happen in parliamentary elections. How would you rate your chances on the next parliament elections based on local results?

I’m very optimistic. Fokus has a very good position to grow and to achieve a great result. Fokus is already a success story and we have grown in a number of members in every part of Croatia. I believe that a new government after elections will not be formed without a strong party or coalition from the political center, and if we look at the results of local elections, Fokus is the fourth party by a number of mayors in Croatia. Also, we are the strongest party of the political center in national ratings, so that gives us reason to believe that we can gain even more support from our citizens in the future.

 Back to the Zagreb elections. The two main candidates represented Gree-left values and national, conservative, sovereign values. Tomašević not only got support from some of the other European mayors but, just as with Škoro's values, there are plenty of same-minded people in Europe sharing those values. You mentioned your appreciation for the Dutch Prime Minister, but are you as well in contact with like-minded parties and politicians in the EU?  

Fokus is a new party, so we still haven’t formed significant international alliances, but we can see ourselves working with other European liberal parties. Of course, the one with the best results is Dutch VVD that is in power on the state level. 

But when we talk about the support that Tomašević or some right-wing parties and NGOs in Croatia had in recent years from abroad; I would say that there is a thin line between support and meddling into elections, and I would say that that line was crossed.

But, can we expect that Fokus will try to be in communication with them? Any plans for running on European Parliament elections as a good point to meet with other think-alike politicians in the EU?

I said that we don't have some significant alliances with them. However, we are in contact with some of them. We will see where that will take us. EP elections could be the first opportunity to test eventual cooperation.

And regarding what you said about there being a thin line between support and meddling in elections and how that line was crossed in Zagreb elections by NGOs, is there a risk of entrepreneurs doing the same thing when supporting, either financially or with public influence, certain parties? How can we prevent such meddling legally but yet with respect to the right of political expression to organizations and individuals?

I don’t see the financial support of Croatian entrepreneurs to political parties as a problem. The problem is only if they receive privileged treatment after the election in return for giving financial support. I would go one step further and say that we should welcome donations of private individuals and companies to political parties because that would mean that political parties would be less dependant on public financing. That should be a normal part of the domestic election process. However, if foreign money is included in financing political parties or their leaders, direct or through other channels, then we as a state have a problem.

To conclude, you are MA of the economy, and you talk a lot about economic solutions. Are our economy and business truly the core issues politicians need to address? Additionally, what are your views and the views of Fokus on defense policy, diplomacy, international relations, emigration policy (asylum seekers trying to enter Croatia), Croatian veterans, diaspora, and the ideological, historical disputes among Croatians, which for better or worse seem to often resolve the elections on a parliamentary level?

It would take a much longer conversation to answer all these questions, but I will try to answer in few sentences. Yes, I believe that economy is the most important issue that needs to be addressed because that is the place where value is created and which provides a better life for people and necessary funding for all government programs. Without a strong economy, the state can’t finance defense or social benefits. Unfortunately, you are right that elections are, in the biggest part, decided on other issues that target emotions rather than reason. 

When it comes to defense policies, liberals believe that the basic tasks of the state are to provide to their citizen's rule of law and protection from foreign and domestic threats. So we should have adequate defense capabilities. On the other hand, we have no problem financing social benefits to real war veterans, however almost 30 years after the war, there shouldn’t be any new users of these benefits. Regarding international relations, our position is that Croatia should remain an EU and NATO member with strong relationships with the USA and with a clear position that China can’t be our partner until they don’t behave by the same rules like everyone else with the biggest concern regarding human rights issues.

Even though we are a small country, that doesn’t mean we can’t lead by example. It is up to us if we will stay on the bottom of every European statistic table or we will start going up. We have all the resources we need to thrive.

Learn more about Croatian politics and history since 1990 on our TC page.

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Friday, 4 June 2021

Several Cities and Counties Get New Heads After Predecessors' Long Terms

ZAGREB, 4 June 2021 - Following Croatia's local election runoffs on 30 May, several long-standing county prefects and mayors were unseated while some decided not to rerun, and on Friday transfers of powers were held in those units of local government and some other cities and county seats.

Apart from the focus on the change of power in Zagreb, where the new mayor Tomislav Tomašević of the Green-Left bloc took over office from the acting mayor Jelena Pavičić Vukičević, who temporarily stepped into office after the death of Mayor Milan Bandić on 28 February, the transfer of powers in Pula, Osijek, Sibenik-Knin and Varaždin counties also grabbed media attention.


In the biggest Istrian city of Pula, the Istrian Democratic Party (IDS) lost the mayoral elections for the first time. The former mayor, IDS leader Boris Miletić, decided not to rerun for this position after his 15-year-long mayorship. However, he vied in the race for County Prefect which he won by a slim margin.

The IDS mayoral candidate was defeated by Filip Zoričić, an independent candidate, who took over the post on Friday morning. Concerning the city council, the IDS was a relative winner, with 32% of the vote, and Zoričić's slate won 16.87%, and was followed by the We Can slate (16.84%) and the Social Democratic Party (15%). Currently Zoričić and the two latter groups are conducting negotiations on the future majority in the city's legislature. The deadline for the founding session of the Pula city council is 19 June.


The new mayor of Čakovec, Ljerka Cividini, took over the powers from the SDP mayor Stjepan Kovač, who was at the helm of the city since 2013. Cividini said today that concrete projects would be on the agenda after the new authorities got full insight into the finances of this biggest city in Međimurje County, which re-elected Matija Posavec as its county prefect.

Cividini, supported by Posavec's slate, as well as by several parties including the HNS, Democrats, HSLS and HDSS, said today that as far as the future majority in the 19-seat city council was concerned, the topic was being negotiated by her slate, that won 8 seats, with the Fokus party, that had three seats.

Varaždin County

The change of powers in the office of the Varaždin Prefect was highlighted by media as a development that could impact the relations in the ruling majority in the national parliament. Former county prefect Radimir Čačić of the Reformists party, a junior partner in the ruling coalition, was unseated by Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) official Anđelko Stričak.

Upon the transfer of powers, Stričak today announced negotiations on forming the majority in the county assembly in which the HDZ will have the largest number of seats, and is followed by the Reformists.

Šibenik-Knin County

The new prefect in Šibenik-Knin County, Marko Jelić, who was the mayor of Knin in the previous term, stepped into office at today's formal ceremony. Jelić, who ran as an independent candidate, unseated the former county prefect, Goran Pauk of the HDZ, who had run the county for 15 years.

However, the county assembly will have the largest number of HDZ councillors, as this party won 35% of the vote, the independent list of Stipe Petrina followed with 16.6% of the vote, and Jelić's slate was third with 15.6%.

Lika-Senj County

The transfer of powers was also held in Gospić, with Ernest Petry of the HDZ party succeeding Darko Milinović, who founded a new regional party after his conflict with the HDZ leadership a few years ago.

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Monday, 31 May 2021

Ivica Puljak Elected Split Mayor

May 31st, 2021 - The new mayor of Split is Ivica Puljak of the Centre party, who by 10.30 p.m. won 35,565 votes, according to data released by the State Electoral Commission (DIP).

Addressing the public in his campaign headquarters, Puljak told citizens that all of them had won, both those who had voted for him and those who hadn't and that he would do everything to justify their trust.

He told them to stand by them as they had before and congratulated his opponent Vice Mihanović (HDZ), who had previously congratulated Puljak on his victory.

Speaking about the campaign, he admitted that it had been unpleasant and that he wouldn't want any campaign to be like the one in Split.

"We have apologized for the mistakes of the past and asked for forgiveness, the citizens forgave us, and we will forgive our opponents. As of today, Split is a different city, a city full of optimism and hope. Our first move will be to help citizens, as well as entrepreneurs, overcome the crisis. We are looking at a future that will be extraordinary," Puljak said.

He announced that he would start talks with other members of the city council tomorrow.

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Sunday, 30 May 2021

SDP Candidate Filipović Winner of Runoff for Rijeka Mayor

ZAGREB, 30 May, 2021 - Marko Filipović of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) will be Rijeka mayor for the next four years, according to first unofficial results of the runoff.

With ballots from 94% of polling stations counted, the candidate of the SDP-HSU-IDS-HSS coalition won about 55% of the vote, while his opponent, independent candidate Davor Štimac, received 45%.

Filipović expressed his satisfaction with the results and said that "Rijeka has proved that social democracy lives in Rijeka, that it has lived and that it will live for the next four years".

Asked whether he offered any changes compared to his predecessor, he said that "this is definitely a change".

"I am Marko Filipović, I thank Vojko Obersnel for 21 years of defending social democratic values in Rijeka."

He said that among the first projects to be implemented include the construction of two new kindergartens, 1,000 new flats and opening Rijeka towards the sea.

Asked about forming a majority in the city council, he said that talks were under way and that he was sure a majority would be formed in the coming weeks.

He thanked everyone who voted and congratulated his opponent on his result.

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Sunday, 30 May 2021

Jandroković: HDZ Winner in 15 Counties

ZAGREB, 30 May, 2021 - Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) on Sunday evening said that the HDZ won the elections in 15 out of the 20 counties.

After the State Election Commission (DIP) started publishing incomplete results after the second round of the local elections, Jandroković said that the outcome of both rounds of the elections showed that the HDZ had county prefects in 15 counties.

He expressed satisfaction with the results showing that the HDZ candidates for county prefects defeated the incumbents in Varaždin and Bjelovar Counties as well as in Lika County.

He elaborated that the HDZ won the elections for the prefects of all the five counties in the eastern Croatian area of Slavonia.

Jandroković conceded the defeat of the HDZ incumbent county prefect in Šibenik-Knin County.

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Sunday, 30 May 2021

Preliminary Results: Tomašević, Puljak, Filipović in Lead, Radic New Osijek Mayor

ZAGREB, 30 May, 2021 - According to preliminary election results released by the State Election Commission (DIP) at 8.20 pm on Sunday, Tomislav Tomašević is in the lead in the race for Zagreb mayor, Marko Filipović is leading in Rijeka and Ivica Puljak in Split, while Ivan Radić has won the elections in Osijek.

After ballots from 67% of the polling stations in Zagreb were counted, Tomašević, the candidate of the We Can!, Zagreb is Ours, New Left, Orah and For the City parties is leading convincingly, with 66.9% of the vote, ahead of his rival Miroslav Škoro of the Homeland Movement, who has won 33.1% of the vote.

In Split, Ivica Puljak of the Centre party is in the lead with 60.2% of the vote, while Vice Mihanović of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) has 39.7% of the vote.

Current Rijeka deputy mayor Marko Filipović, the candidate of the Social Democratic Party, Croatian Pensioners' Party, Istrian Democratic Party and Croatian Peasant Party, is in the lead with 55.1% of the vote, followed by independent candidate Davor Štimac, with 44.8% of the vote.

In Osijek, Ivan Radić of the HDZ party has won 62.6% of the vote after all ballots were counted, while independent candidate Berislav Mlinarević, backed by the Homeland Movement and Bridge, has won 37.3% of the vote.

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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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Sunday, 30 May 2021

Exit Poll: Tomašević Wins Zagreb, Puljak Split, Radić Osijek, Filipović Rijeka

ZAGREB, 30 May, 2021 - Exit polls after Sunday's runoff polls in the biggest cities show that Zagreb will be run by Tomislav Tomašević of the Green-Left Coalition, Osijek's mayor will be Ivan Radić of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), while Rijeka elected Social Democrat Marko Filipović and Split Ivica Puljak of the Centre party.


In the capital, the mayoral candidate of the We Can! and Zagreb is Ours political groups, Tomislav Tomašević, mustered 68.27% of the vote, and his opponent, Miroslav Škoro of the Homeland Movement (DP) party trailed at 31.73%.


In this southern coastal city, Ivica Puljak of the Centre party won 59.19% ahead of Vice Mihanović of the HDZ with 40.81%.


In this northern Adriatic port city, exit polls put the SDP's Marko Filipović in the lead with 57.84%, with independent candidate Davor Štimac trailing at  42.16%.


In the largest eastern city, the HDZ's Ivan Radić won 63.14% of the vote, and his rival Berislav Mlinarević, supported by the Homeland Movement party and the Bridge party, took 36.86%.

The exit poll was conducted by the Ipsos Puls agency and the results were published upon the closing of polling stations at 7 p.m. Sunday when the second round of the local elections was held.

Mayors, county prefects and their deputies are elected by the proportional electoral system, and each municipality, city or county makes one constituency.

A candidate who receives more than 50% of the vote is elected mayor or county prefect. If no candidate receives the required majority in the first round, the first two vote-getters face off in a runoff in two weeks' time. The first round of voting was held on 16 May.

The State Election Commission (DIP) is expected to publish preliminary estimates of the runoff's outcome at 8 pm Sunday.

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Sunday, 30 May 2021

Voter Turnout in Local Runoff by 4.30 PM Lower Than in First Round

ZAGREB, 30 May, 2021 - The turnout by 4.30 pm in Sunday's local election runoff was 29.18%, 6.36% less than by the same time in the first voting round two weeks ago, the State Electoral Commission (DIP) said.

Four years ago, the turnout in the local election runoff by 4.30 pm was 27.45%.

The turnout in Zagreb has been 34.33% as against 34% in the first round, 32.3% in Split (33.7% two weeks ago), 21.53% in Osijek (28.7% two weeks ago), and 26.33% in Rijeka (28.2% two weeks ago).

Gospić recorded the highest turnout by 4.30 pm (51.05%), followed by Pazin (38.84%).

Broken down by county, Lika-Senj County has registered the highest turnout (44.03%), followed by Krapina-Zagorje County (40.56%), while Zagreb County and Istria County have registered the lowest turnouts (22.91% and 23.32% respectively).

The turnout in earthquake-struck Sisak-Moslavina County has been 31.4%.

Polling stations close at 7 pm. DIP will release the first preliminary results at 8 pm.

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Sunday, 30 May 2021

Polling Stations Opened for Second Round of Local Elections in Croatia

ZAGREB, 30 May, 2021 - All the 5,496 polling stations were opened at 7 a.m. on Sunday throughout Croatia for the election runoffs for mayors of 57 cities and 87 municipalities as well as for the prefects of 14 counties.

The State Electoral Commission (DIP) will release the first results of today's voting on its website at 8 p.m.  The ballots from 90% of polling stations should be counted by 10 p.m.

During the second round of voting, 3,231,000 citizens are eligible to vote. The two candidates who received the highest number of votes in the 16 May elections in their constituency are vying in the 30 May runoffs. The mayoral and county head candidates who won more than 50% of the vote in the first round of the elections two weeks ago are the outright winners.

The course of today's voting is being 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 are being at polling stations on behalf of nongovernmental organisations.

Anti-epidemic measures are being 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 pens. Although the epidemiological situation has improved since the first round of the voting, the same anti-epidemic measures will be implemented.

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