Monday, April 19, 2004

HDZ Juggernaut

Yesterday extraordinary local elections were held in cities of Šibenik (Sibenik) and Biograd. Judging by their results, HDZ is going to establish total domination in Croatian local governments following next years' round of regular local elections.

In Šibenik, home town of Goran Višnjić (Goran Visnjic), HDZ won 15 out of 25 seats in City Council. This represents unprecedented success for Sanader's party. In previous years Šibenik was known as SDP stronghold – place where HDZ, like in most of urban communities and unlike the rest of mainly rural Šibenik County, never fared that well. But SDP, like almost any other party in almost any local assembly, had to rely on coalition partners to form government. In case of Šibenik, that coalition proved to be inefficient and plagued by factional infighting. Its apparent collapse led to new elections.

Of course, turnout was abysmal. Most people saw little point in going to polls only to elect caretaking city government. But 15% of votes in Šibenik is bad omen for SDP. This might look like exegeration, but Ivica Račan (Ivica Racan) might easily suffer the same fate as Dražen Budiša (Drazen Budisa).

In the neighbouring Biograd, HDZ, allied with far right HSP party, won 50.77 % of the vote. Conservative HSS won 16 % and SDP with its allies won around 8 %.


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