Croatian Parliament Dissolved to Hold Early Elections

Written by Camilla Jessen

Mar.14 - 2024 2:15 PM CET

Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Following widespread protests and opposition demands, Croatian lawmakers vote to dissolve parliament, setting the stage for early parliamentary elections within two months.

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Croatian lawmakers made a decisive move on Thursday by voting to dissolve the parliament, clearing the path for early parliamentary elections to be conducted within the next two months, according to Reuters.

Originally scheduled for the autumn, the government opted for an earlier date, preceding the European Parliament elections in June.

This decision came in the wake of an official request from 11 opposition parties, including the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and the left-wing environmentalist party Mozemo. The coalition called for the dissolution following a series of protests directed against the policies of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), the party of the current Prime Minister, Andrej Plenkovic.

President Zoran Milanovych is anticipated to formally announce the election dates later this week.

Under the leadership of the center-right HDZ for three consecutive terms and Plenković's eight-year tenure as Prime Minister, polls suggest HDZ is positioned to win again. However, assembling a new government post-election is expected to be a complex task.

The push for early elections gained momentum when, at the end of February, the ruling majority in the Croatian Parliament (Sabor) initially rejected calls for dissolution and election scheduling, despite opposition demands and threats of protest.

Indeed, on February 17, thousands took to the streets of Zagreb, the nation's capital, to protest against the HDZ. They accused the party of corruption and advocated for the hastening of this year's parliamentary elections.

Earlier, several hundred journalists staged a protest in Zagreb against proposed legislation that could lead to imprisonment for disclosing details of criminal investigations.