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Croats Vote In Snap Elections Likely To Prolong Uncertainty


Croats cast ballots in parliamentary elections on September 11 for the second time in less than a year, a vote that may prolong political uncertainty in the European Union's newest member state.

Early exit polls showed no clear winner in the vote, which was called when the right-wing government led by the Croatian Democratic Union party collapsed in June after less than six months in power, paralyzed by bickering.

The political deadlock has delayed reforms that are necessary for Croatia to catch up with the rest of the European Union. It has also fueled nationalist rhetoric amid heightened tensions with Serbia.

The left-wing Peoples' Coalition won 58 seats in Croatia's 151-seat parliament, according to the poll conducted by Croatia's independent Ipsos Puls agency, carried by state TV.

The Democratic Union had 57 seats, while kingmakers Most won 11 seats, the poll showed.

Some 3.8 million citizens are eligible to vote in 7,000 polling stations.

President Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic urged more Croats to come out and vote.

"The following months and years are truly decisive for Croatia, and today we have to be serious," Kitarovic said. "We can't complain later if the outcome of the election is not the way we want it to be."

Croatia has shown signs of recovery after a six-year recession, with GDP growth at more than 2 percent. However, unemployment hovers around 14 percent.

With reporting by Reuters, Balkan Insight, and AFP
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