In the first of a short pre-election series, an introduction to the main parties contesting the parliamentary election in Croatia.
With a general election date announced by its President on October 5, 2105, Croatia will be selecting its new parliament members on November 8th after one of the shortest election campaigns ever. In the coming weeks TCN will give a short overview of all the parties participating in the elections.
We start with regional parties that are already in the parliament, IDS (Istria) and HDSSB (Slavonia).
Istarski Demokratski Sabor (Istrian Democratic Parliament Party) was formed on Valentine’s Day 1990 and it is one of the largest regional parties in Croatia. It is a member of ALDE (Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe) and they are a social-liberal party. Their political rise started in 1993 on the local elections when the party won a staggering 74,2% of the votes in the Istrian county winning 35 county mandates out of 40.
Their first parliamentary elections were in 1995 when they formed a coalition with HNS, HSS, HKDU and S-BHS winning 14,17% of the votes (over 60% in Istria) which made them the second strongest list in the elections. They continued to form coalitions for every subsequent election race and in 2000 they helped form the new government and had one appointed Minister Ivan Jakovčić who was in charge of Euro integrations.
In the current parliament assembly, IDS has 2 parliament seats and one Minister Darko Lorencin – Minister of Tourism (who replaced Veljko Ostojić, also IDS, after he was forced to resign), and one MEP Ivan Jakovčić (who was not elected directly but became a MEP as Neven Mimica’s replacement).
Boris Miletić (Mayor of Pula) is the current president of IDS and in these parliamentary elections they will be partnering with PGS which took (almost) everyone by surprise knowing that they are very prone to forming coalitions with national parties in order to secure not only parliamentary seats but positions within Ministries and state owned companies. However, we can expect them to form post-election coalitions with the left and centre oriented parties.
Main program objectives:
– Decentralization of Croatia
– Greater autonomy of Istria
– Equality for all forms of ownership
– Market freedom and uninterrupted flow of goods, work a and capital
Another regional party that has been surrounded by controversy since its very beginning. HDSSB (Hrvatski demokratski savez Slavonije i Baranje) or Croatian Democtratic Alliance of Slavonia and Baranja was officially formed in May 2006 by Branimir Glavaš, former military commander, controversial political figure who was thrown out of HDZ by Ivo Sanader, and convicted of war crimes (sentence was annulled by the Constitutional court and new trial is still pending).
Original aim of this party was a complete reorganization of Croatia in order to improve deteriorating social and economic conditions in Slavonia, a region that was, according to party members, vastly neglected by the central government in Zagreb.
HDSSB is a regionalist and right wing populist party and this time around, they are entering the election campaign with a slogan “For our home”.
Their new president is Dragan Vulin (elected less than a year ago), and in the last parliament assembly they had three seats.
Main program objectives
-Urgent legalization of agricultural land and objects
– Lower costs for leasing state owned agricultural land
– Relocation of Ministry of agriculture and all of its agencies to Slavonia
– Lower VAT on food
– Better connection and cooperation between green and blue Croatia
– Fiscal and economic decentralization
– Free school books for all students
– Minimum wage in the amount of 50% of the average wage in Croatia.