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Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-12-05

Croatia's centre-left opposition coalition, led by the Social Democratic Party of Zoran Milanovic (pictured), won an outright majority in Sunday's general election. The coalition will have 80 deputies in Croatia's 151-seat legislature.

AFP - Croatia's centre-left opposition coalition won an outright majority in general elections at the weekend, officials results based on count of votes at more than 99 percent of polling stations showed on Monday.

The coalition led by the Social Democratic Party (SDP) will have 80 deputies in the new 151-seat parliament, results of Sunday's vote released by the electoral commission showed.

The former ruling conservative Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) will have 47 MPs, according to national television calculations.

The HDZ, tarnished by a series of top level corruption scandals, has been in power almost continuously since Croatia's 1991 break-up of the former Yugoslavia, except for an almost four year period from 2000 to 2003.

The new government, which will lead the country into the European Union in 2013, is facing the difficult challenge of tackling a serious economic crisis.

On Friday, Zagreb is to sign an EU accession treaty, paving the way for membership of the bloc on July 1, 2013.

Croatia's economy has been in almost unrelieved recession since 2009. The national bank predicts a modest 0.5 percent growth this year.

The likely prime minister and SDP head Zoran Milanovic, who refrained from inflated electoral promises during the campaign, vowed not to let Croatians down.

"Croatian citizens showed confidence in us, have given us a chance to lead Croatia and our responsibility is enormous," the 45-year-old Milanovic said in his victory speech in the capital early Monday. "We will not let you down, I promise that."


Date created : 2011-12-05


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