Polls have opened in Croatia’s first European Parliament elections. 12 candidates must be chosen to represent the country when it officially becomes a member of the European Union on July 1st.
The prime minister Zoran Milanovic and his wife Sanja cast their ballots as well as Croatia’s Foreign and European Minister Vesna Pusic and the president of the state Ivo Josipovic. Just under 4 million people are eligible to vote and overall turnout has been low because of a general lack of enthusiasm due to the financial crisis in Europe and a lacklustre campaign.
A total of 40 political parties with over 300 candidates will run in the election. However, polls have suggested that the ruling Social Democrats and its two junior coalition partners will take half of the seats, while the rest will be filled by the conservative HDZ party and the Labour Party.
After Slovenia, Croatia is the only other former Yugoslav republic to join the European Union so far.