Center-left Opposition Coalition Unseats Incumbent Conservatives in Croatia

World | December 5, 2011, Monday // 12:22|  views

Zoran Milanovic (2-L) Kukuriku (Cock-a-doodle) coalition President of Iatrian Democratic Party (IDS) and President of Social Democratic Party (SDP) with President of Croatian peoples Party (HNS) Ratimir Cacic (2-R) and President of Croatian pensioners par

A center-left opposition coalition won Sunday's parliamentary elections in Croatia several days ahead of the signing of its EU Accession Treaty.

The conservative Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), which has ruled the country for the most part since its independence in 1991, was punished by voters for the latest spate of corruption scandals and the rising unemployment rate, international news agencies reported.

The coalition led by Zoran Milanovic will have 83 MPs in the 151-seat parliament, compared with 40 for Prime Minister Yardanka Kosor's HDZ, according to local TV network Nova TV.

The 'Kukuriku' bloc, named after the restaurant where it was founded, consists of four center-left parties - the Social Democratic Party (SDP), the Croatian People's Party, the Istrian Democratic Assembly and the Pensioners Party.

The new government will have to take swift measures to cut budget spending and avoid a potential downgrade in the country's credit rating.

Milanovich warned Croats they will have to work "more, harder, longer" to turn the economy around before the country of 4.3 million people becomes the second ex-Yugoslav republic to join the EU in July 2013.

Croatia's economic growth ground to a halt due to the impact of the global financial crisis in 2009 and the country proved the slowest among central and south-east European states to pull out of the recession.

Croatia will sign the EU Accession Treaty on December 9 in Brussels and will join the Union as the 28th member state on July 1, 2013.

A total of 4.2 M people were eligible to vote for the country's seventh parliament.

They cast ballots in 6572 polling stations, while 411 000 voted abroad.

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Tags: Croatia, Jadranka Kosor, parliamentary elections, conservatives


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