site.btaCroats Elect Parliament amidst Bitter Clash between President Milanovic, PM Plenkovic

Croats Elect Parliament amidst Bitter Clash between President Milanovic, PM Plenkovic
Croats Elect Parliament amidst Bitter Clash between President Milanovic, PM Plenkovic
BTA Photo

Parliamentary elections are taking place in Croatia on Wednesday after an election campaign marked by a bitter clash between Croatian President Zoran Milanovic of the Social Democratic Party and Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic of the centre-right Croatian Democratic Union (CDU).

Election polls predict a victory for the ruling CDU, but this party is unlikely to have enough votes to hold an absolute majority in Parliament. According to the polls, the coalition around the Social Democratic Party will be the second force in the new Croatian Parliament.

Immediately after scheduling the elections, Milanovic unexpectedly announced that he would be the Social Democratic Party's candidate for prime minister. The Constitutional Court ruled that his candidacy was incompatible with the presidency and that if he wanted to run for PM he should resign. However, he did not comply with the court’s ruling.

Milanovic's entry into the electoral race gave an electoral boost to the Social Democrats and reduced incumbent PM Plenkovic's chances for a third mandate.

Croatia's President is critical of the EU. He stands against Ukraine’s support in the war with Russia and does not support Ukraine's entry into NATO. Plenkovic favours his country’s pro-Western and pro-European course.

Milanovic motivated his decision to run for prime minister by arguing that the CDU government is involved in corruption scandals. Meanwhile, Plenkovic’s government denies the accusations. The CDU focused its election campaign on its achievements, such as Croatia’s accession to the eurozone and Schengen, as well as wage increases, and economic growth.

After voting on Wednesday, Milanovic yet again accused the government of corruption. The Croatian president said he supports the UN resolution commemorating 1995's Srebrenica massacre and supports Kosovo's membership of the Council of Europe.

On Facebook, PM Plenkovic urged Croats to vote as their country’s future depends on them.

More than 3.7 million Croats are eligible to vote. They elect 151 MPs for a four-year mandate.

/DD/

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By 04:39 on 25.05.2024 Today`s news

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