2003 - National Minorities Election

26. September 2007.

By Croatian Government‘s decision, members of national minorities in Croatia had the right to vote for members of 471 councils (in 17 counties, 38 towns and 80 municipalities) and 141 representatives (in 15 counties, 14 towns and 1 municipality) on the total of 872 polling stations during the elections for representatives and members of national minorities’ councils in local and regional self-government units.

By Croatian Government's decision, members of national minorities in Croatia had the right to vote for members of 471 councils (in 17 counties, 38 towns and 80 municipalities) and 141 representatives (in 15 counties, 14 towns and 1 municipality) on the total of 872 polling stations during the elections for representatives and members of national minorities’ councils in local and regional self-government units.

Out of 471 councils, candidacies were submitted for 220 councils (which results in about 46,91%), and for 140 representatives of national minorities, candidacies were submitted for 40 representatives (which results in about 28,57%).

Due to the shortage of candidacies for councils, elections did not take place in 3 counties, 42 towns and 103 municipalities, while due to the shortage of candidacies for representatives of national minorities; election did not take place in 6 counties, 25 towns and one municipality. One self-government unit (the area of county, town and municipality) was treated as one electorate, and elections were held based on the simple majority system.

The right to vote on the elections for members of national minority councils on the county level was granted to 319 141 voters, on the town level to 130 730 voters and on the municipality level to 88 085 voters. The right to vote for national minorities representatives on the county level was granted to 4 944 voters, on the town level to 1 375 voters and on the municipality level to 116 voters. This information was indicated in the closed voter’s lists prior to the election day.

Elections were monitored by 21 GONG mobile teams that visited 418 polling stations, resulting in about 48% of all polling stations visited in Croatia. Mobile teams visited county, town and municipality election commissions on the Election Day.

GONG's general assessment of the election for members of councils and representatives of national minorities in local and regional self-government units is that elections were conducted in accordance with the Election law and mandatory rules. However, bearing in mind the inexperience in organizing and conducting this kind of elections and the sensitive situation with national minorities in Croatia, the political decision to conduct these elections should have been reached in cooperation with national minorities’ organizations. However, as this had not been the case, the stronger involvement of state institutions would have helped in better perception and public recognition of importance of these elections.


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