Amid continuing uncertainty surrounding the future of the HDZ-led national government, Croatian voters went to the polls in municipal and mayoral elections where all three ALDE Party member parties obtained positive results around the country.
In the capital city Zagreb, the HNS (Hrvatska narodna stranka – liberalni demokrati) candidate for Mayor Anka Mrak Taritaš recorded 80,765 votes (24.48%) after a strong campaign and will enter the run-off on 4 June with the incumbent Mayor Milan Bandić who got 30.87% of the vote in the first round. Sandra Švaljek, an independent candidate supported by ALDE Party member HSLS, came in third place with 19.14% of the vote. Elsewhere around the country, HNS won more than 500 councillor seats, making them the 3rd strongest force in Croatia.
Reacting to the results, HNS leader Ivan Vrdoljak MP, said: “People today have made it clear they don't want populism in Croatia. Citizens are clearly saying they want change. And so the next round is more important to prevent populism, so let’s get out there and in the next round and let's give hope to Croatia!”
In the region of Istria, ALDE Party member IDS (Istarski demokratski sabor) continued their long tradition of success recording an increase of 13% at regional level, with their incumbent President of the Region Valter Flego winning re-election in the first round with 65.61% of the vote, the highest percentage of the votes for any regional candidate in the election. IDS mayoral candidates won in 7 of out 10 cities in the first electoral round, with others set to contest run-offs in the second round.
Commenting on the results, IDS leader Boris Miletić MP said: “Today, Istrian values have won in Istria, our way of life based on tolerance, multiculturalism, coexistence, anti-fascism - it won today in Istria! We have achieved a phenomenal electoral outcome. Many thanks to everyone for the tremendous support we received. This is a festival of democracy, this is another great victory of Istria!"
HSLS (Hrvatska socijalno-liberalna stranka) performed strongly in the Bjelovarsko-bilogorska region with Dario Hrebak leading in the contest for Mayor of Bjelovar.
The second round of municipal and mayor elections, where run-offs are required, will take place on Sunday 4 June. Full results of the first round can be found at http://www.izbori.hr/231lok/rezult/1/nrezultati.html