Croatian Legislative Elections: Andrej Plenkovic Wins

The conservatives in the HDZ party win 61 seats, but will need the support of other political formations to stay in power

Andrej Plenkovic

After the counting of votes in Croatia’s parliamentary elections was completed, it appeared that the conservatives of current Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic have won. Plenkovic’s party, the Croatian Democratic Commonwealth (HDZ), won 61 of the 151 seats in the Croatian Parliament (Sabor). Plenkovic did not gain the necessary majority, so he will need the support of other political forces to stay in power.

Next is the Rijeka Pravde (River of Justice) bloc led by the Social Democratic Party (SDP) with 42 mandates. According to the latest data from the Croatian Central Election Commission (DIP), the right-wing Fatherland Movement came in third place and brought 14 deputies into the Croatian parliament.

As for the results of the conservative Catholic association Most and Mozemo! Greens, they won 11 and 10 parliamentary mandates respectively. Finally, the Istrian Democratic Assembly (IDS) party won 2 mandates, as did the Independent Northern Platform (Nezavisna Platforma Sjever, NPS), and the Focus party will be represented by only one deputy.

Zoran Milanovic

According to the political tradition of this Balkan republic, the vote pitted the conservative and pro-European HDZ party against the alliance of centrist and, in a sense, pro-Russian leftist parties informally led by incumbent President Zoran Milanovic and his Social Democratic Party. Immediately after the results were announced, Croatian Prime Minister and HDZ party leader Plenkovic said that his political formation had “convincingly” won the parliamentary elections for the third time in a row since 2016 and that starting today, “the formation of a parliamentary majority will begin.”

“Starting tomorrow morning,” the prime minister said, “we will start forming a new parliamentary majority for our third government. We will continue our policies that, over the past eight years, have protected Croatian citizens from crises, preserved the Croatian economy, and made it possible to achieve numerous strategic goals both nationally and internationally.”

Political maneuvers to control the Croatian Assembly

Thus began the delicate political game of building group alliances and coalitions in Croatia, which in 2023 entered the Schengen area and the eurozone. The green formation Mozemo! called on all major parties in Croatia to unite to “topple” Prime Minister Plenkovic’s Croatian Democratic Union party. “We must not forget that the number one goal is to deprive HDZ of power. This goal is still achievable,” said the formation’s political leader Sandra Bencic, also emphasizing that “a scenario in which the HDZ party is excluded from the government is still possible.” According to Bencic, “there is a possibility that the Social Democratic Party, which ranks second in voter preference, will agree to a minority government, which all other parties will support in parliament.”