Croats refuse Tudjman the majority he craves
Tuesday 31 October 1995
Political analysts said his Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) had prevailed over an opposition coalition on the strength of his hero status after masterminding the reconquest of Serb-occupied lands in recent months.
But Mr Tudjman was denied the two-thirds majority he needs to enshrine his authoritarian rule in the constitution, following a backlash against his cult of personality, and HDZ abuses of power.
"Western observers underestimate Croats. Many want no part of unscrupulous one-party or one-man rule," said Slaven Letica, a former Tudjman adviser.
The HDZ, which steered Croatia to independence in 1991, had 44 per cent of the vote with 71 per cent of ballots counted, the election commission said. A moderate opposition coalition led by the Peasant Party was running a distant second at 18.5 per cent and the Social Liberals were just short of 12 per cent.
Mr Letica said the HDZ could count on 53 to 56 per cent of the 127 seats but only with the fresh addition of 12 reserved for the Croat "diaspora", who voted overwhelmingly for the government. The government summarily enfranchised 365,000 expatriate Croats, overwhelmingly pro-HDZ rightists and most of them in Bosnia, in a manoeuvre that Western observers felt had unfairly tilted the election outcome.
HDZ-controlled state television's favourable coverage of Mr Tudjman's campaign and its restrictive approach to airing the opposition's agenda disturbed European monitors.
Council of Europe observers said the government might have to change its new election law before being considered for membership.
The government called the elections nine months early to try to obtain a two-thirds majority. But HDZ candidates beat rivals handily only in regions near former or current front lines, including one remaining rebel enclave, Eastern Slavonia, that Mr Tudjman has vowed to reconquer by Christmas. Opposition parties trounced the HDZ in Zagreb, and in liberal havens such as Istria, which has been largely untouched by ethnic strife since 1991. Extreme right-wing parties were all but wiped out.
- 1 Stolen Instagram photo sells for $90,000
- 2 Before you complain about your GP, this is what you need to know about actually doing the job
- 3 UK's biggest male rape charity Survivors UK has state funding slashed to zero despite 120% rise in men reporting sexual violence and seeking help
- 4 'Don't blame all men for rape' campaign backfires spectacularly
- 5 Charlie Charlie Challenge explained: not a Mexican demon being summoned — it's gravity
UK's biggest male rape charity Survivors UK has state funding slashed to zero despite 120% rise in men reporting sexual violence and seeking help
Priest warns pupils the 'Charlie Charlie Challenge' is 'demonic activity'
'Don't blame all men for rape' campaign backfires spectacularly
Iran launches anti-Isis cartoon competition 'to expose true nature of Islamic State'
Fifa corruption arrests: Sepp Blatter 'quite relaxed' and confident he is 'not involved'
EU referendum: David Cameron's rules are a 'democratic disgrace', says French-born Scottish politician set to be denied a vote
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
Australian man punched in the face for defending Muslim women from abuse on train
A nation of inequality: How the UK is failing to feed its most vulnerable people
David Starkey 'tells Amal Clooney to shut up and stop over-promoting human rights'
£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A multi-skilled engineer with a...
£17000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Engineers for field & bench ser...
£30000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity for a t...
£35000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This global provider of call ce...