By Boris Babic, DPA/Belgrade
Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic’s conservative Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) scored a stunning victory in Sunday’s parliamentary election and will be able to govern without a heavyweight coalition partner.
With nearly all the ballots counted yesterday morning, the HDZ won 66 of the 151 seats and may only need very small partners to form a majority.
The far-right Homeland Movement, which had been expected to play kingmaker, landed 16 seats.
With the party leader, former singer Miroslav Skoro, prone to stirring controversy, Plenkovic is likely to go ahead without him.
The HDZ would “see in a couple of days” whether there will be a coalition, HDZ vice president Ivan Anusic said, but hinted that it will not be with the Homeland Movement.
“I am not a populist and I hate populists,” the 24Sata daily cited him as saying. “People know we are facing huge challenges and populists, and incompetent people must not be allowed into the government.”
Anusic attributed his party’s strong result to its handling of the Covid-19 crisis and to the “lack of quality on the opposing side.”
The MOST (Bridge) party has eight seats and Mozemo (We Can) has seven, while 13 seats were distributed among smaller parties and representatives of ethnic minorities.
The Social Democratic Party (SDP), which had been tipped to win the most seats, suffered a devastating defeat, securing only 41 seats for the coalition it leads. As was expected, SDP leader Davor Bernardic resigned yesterday morning.
He told reporters that party vice president Zlatko Komadina will serve as the caretaker until internal elections, which would be held “in the shortest possible term.”
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