Economic woes prompt power shift in Croatia

By REUTERS
December 5, 2011 01:30

ZAGREB - Voters handed the center-left opposition a strong mandate on Sunday to overhaul the flagging economy before the former Yugoslav republic joins the European Union in 2013, throwing out Croatia's ruling conservatives.

The opposition bloc, known as Kukuriku ('cock-a-doodle-doo'), won 76 seats in the Adriatic country's 151-seat parliament, according to official results with 50 percent of votes counted.

The conservative HDZ, which has ruled for 16 of Croatia's 20 years as an independent state, won 47 seats and was roundly punished by voters for a string of corruption scandals and rising unemployment.

"The main thing is they did not manage to humiliate us," HDZ leader and outgoing prime minister Jadranka Kosor said, conceding defeat.


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