Zagreb, 24 November 2003 (RFE/RL) -- Croatia's election commission says after counting 96 percent of the vote that the opposition nationalist Croatian Democratic Community (HDZ) appears to have won yesterday's parliamentary election. Based on the latest results announced today by the commission, an existing coalition led by the conservative HDZ is projected to have won 73 of 140 total seats. The ruling Social Democrat-led coalition of Prime Minister Ivica Racan appears to have won 64 seats.
Racan has said he will wait for complete results before conceding defeat. But HDZ leader Ivo Sanader has claimed victory and says his goals would be for Croatia to join NATO in 2006 and the European Union in 2007.
"Our priority in foreign policy will certainly be joining the European Union and NATO and resolving all open questions with our neighbors. We want fast normalization of these relations. We also wish a clear European perspective for our Eastern neighbors as they want it for themselves," Sanader said.
HDZ, the party of late wartime President Franjo Tudjman, has been in opposition for the past four years.