Croatia to hold parliamentary elections

The 2020 Croatian legislative elections will be held today in the midst of the public health and economic crisis. Polling

A polling station during Croatias January presidential elections

Photo: EPA-EFE/Daniel Kasap

The 2020 Croatian legislative elections will be held today in the midst of the public health and economic crisis.

Polling agencies currently predict that the ruling Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) will gather the most votes at around 30%. However, HDZ will be challenged by the Social Democrats Party (SDP) and far-right nationalist Domovinski Pokret, which are expected to attain 28% and 10% respectively. Such a result will ensure that no party can win a simple majority; a coalition government is likely. The elections are to be held in the backdrop of economic strife for many Croats—tourism, which makes up around 20% of the country’s economic output, has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

HDZ has previously been able to form a coalition with smaller parties. However, polls suggest that such a coalition is no longer statistically possible, and HDZ and SDP leaders do not plan to form a joint coalition. Therefore, many experts predict the formation of a centre-right coalition between HDZ and Domovisnki Pokret. This shift to the right could have serious implications for Croatia’s relationship to the EU, especially with Croatian GDP expected to shrink by 9.4% in 2020. Expect a HDZ-Domovinski Pokret coalition, if it emerges, to seek out stronger relations with non-EU countries in the Western Balkans, such as Albania and North Macedonia.

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