[ELECTIONS 2003] Sanader Wins
Based on the GONG estimates and first data gathered by State Electoral Commission, Croatian voters have decided to bring back Tudjman's party to power. Ivo Sanader is going to become new prime minister of Croatia. His party failed to get absolute majority, but by winning 19 seats more than in 2000, and with at least 5-6 seats from pro-HDZ diaspora, it can comfortably create majority with its right-wing allies.
The complete breakdown is this:
Right wing - HDZ 65 seats, HSP 8 seats, HSLS 2 seats (I was right)
"Left centre" (governing coalition) – SDP 31 seats, HSS 12 seats, HNS 9 seats, IDS 5 seats, Libra 3 seats, LS 2 seats, PGS (Primorsko-Goranska County regional party) – 1 seat
Biggest surprise of this elections is HSU – Croatian Party of Pensioners. They won 2 seats.
According to GONG, turnout was below 65 %.
Sanader his post doesn't owe to himself but to Ivica Račan (Ivica Racan). Račan's government managed to alienate its voters with its Tudjmanism Lite policies. People who had walked in droves to polling stations on January 3rd 2000 decided to stay at home this time.
Račan also has himself to blame for not changing 1999 electoral law, with districts gerrymandered in order to give maximum boost for HDZ. In 2000 landslide it didn't matter that much, but in 2003 ignoring this problem was criminal negligence.