Possible Scenarios For Croatia's Parliamentary Elections
Country Heads for Turbulent Elections Amidst Looming Political Uncertainty

April 9, 2024
Croatia’s mega-election year will kick off on 17 April when voters head to the polls to elect the 151 members of the country’s parliament. As in previous parliamentary elections, the electoral contest will come down to a clash between the governing Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) of centre-right Prime Minister Andrej Plenković and the leading opposition Social Democratic Party (SDP), supported by Croatian President Zoran Milanović. However, with neither of the two parties expected to secure a parliamentary majority, the election outcome will hinge on the performance of several smaller parties across the aisle.

In addition to growing anti-government sentiment due to alleged corruption under the HDZ’s rule, Croatian politics has been turned upside down after the SDP-aligned President announced a controversial run for Prime Minister should the opposition win the elections. Milanović aims to succeed his main rival as PM without resigning from his office, which has prompted the Constitutional Court to ban him from running for PM. Milanović however has accused the top court of being influenced by HDZ and refuses to respect their decision.

Aretera’s baseline scenario is that the Plenković-led HDZ will remain in power, either via a full majority or sufficient support for a minority cabinet. However, a strong showing by the Milanović-supported SDP, which has considerable political momentum, could lead to a change of government after eight years of HDZ rule. Although much less likely, Croatia could also end up heading for snap parliamentary elections if neither of the two leading parties secures a functioning majority in this contest.
If you would like to schedule a discussion of this paper, please contact:
Dominik Istrate, Research Director for Central & Eastern Europe at D.Istrate@AreteraPA.com