Monday, March 31, 2003

Again, Too Early to Tell

Local elections in Croatia are rather unreliable way for predicting results of general elections. Many rural areas, that otherwise vote for HDZ, tend to elect non-HDZ candidates for their local, municipal and county assemblies.

That didn't prevent HDZ for triumphalistic interpretations of their victory in city of Virovitica. Nor did the media – "independent" and independent – took more analytical approach. HDZ victory in Virovitica was hailed as a sign of things to come.

But the municipal elections in Galovac, settlement near Zadar, gave overwhelming victory to HSS. Elections for community councils in city of Opatija near Rijeka resulted in victory for Istrian regionalists from IDS.

In Vojnić (Vojnic), municipality where the returning Serbs had gained majority for some time, elections created rather unpleasant situation for winning SDP – whether to create grand coalition with HDZ or Serb nationalist parties (that tend to co-operate in other areas).

Finally, elections for community councils in city of Karlovac, Croatian frontline stronghold during 1991-95 war and place known for Croatian nationalist extremism, gave victory to lists that represent the carbon copies of governing coalition in Zagreb.

It seems that the optimism of Ivo Sanader was quite premature and that Račan (Racan) might indeed rally support in next few months and snatch the victory out of jaws of defeat.


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