January 4, 2000
SARAJEVO/ZAGREB, JANUARY 3: Croatian voters were called to the polls on Monday morning to elect new representatives to the Sabor or Lower House of parliament.
The parliamentary elections are the first step towards a renewal of the political system following the death last month of President Franjo Tudjman. Presidential elections are to follow on January 24.
Some 4.2 million voters can choose from 35 political parties, 15 coalitions and 20 lists of independent candidates. Tudjman’s ruling Christian Democratic Union HDZ and a coalition of six Opposition parties are expected to be the most popular among voters in Monday’s polls.
Opposition parties are projected to wrest control of the Sabor, or Lower House of parliament, from the HDZ, which has been in power for ten years. Should the Opposition gain the most votes, Ivica Racan, the former head of the Communist Party who now belongs to the Social Democratic Party, is considered a potential candidate for the post of Prime Minister. Croatians living abroadhad cast their ballots on Sunday,
According to the Croatian State Election Commission, a total of about 350,372 eligible voters live outside Croatia. Aside from the community in Bosnia, many Croats work abroad and a large number, mostly ethnic Serbs with Croatian passports, have fled to Yugoslavia.
The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) is monitoring the Croatian elections.
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