Major Croat towns to get mayors in second roundSource: Beta
ZAGREB -- Candidates of Croatia's ruling center-left coalition led by the SDP party will be running in the second round of local elections in four largest towns.
According to analysts, the coalition performed poorly in the capital, Zagreb.
This is according to preliminary results announced late on Sunday by the State Election Commission (DIP), and based on the outcome on about 80 percent of the polling stations.
The ruling coalition candidates will compete in the runoff in two weeks' time in Zagreb, Split, Rijeka and Osijek.
In Zagreb, SDP candidate Rajko Ostojić won 23 percent of the votes yesterday, while current Mayor Milan Bandić, who was a candidate of a group of citizens, received more than 46 percent.
The SDP won 26 percent of the votes for the city assembly seats, with Bandić's list was behind with just under 24 percent. The HDZ party came in third with 14.6 percent.
But analysts believe that the SDP has "poor coalition potential", and will find it difficult to stay in power in Zagreb. The party's results there have been described as "a heavy defeat."
In Split, SDP's Ivo Baldasar won 30 percent of the votes and will run in the second round against HDZ's Vjekoslav Ivanišević, who had the support of 21.5 percent of voters on Sunday. Current Mayor Željko Kerum was third with 18.4 percent.
In Vukovar, SDP and HDZ candidates will compete two weeks from now, while the Independent Democratic Serb Party (SDSS) candidate Dragan Crnogorac received about eight percent of the votes in the first round, and finished third.