(At Least) Six Parties In Search Of A Coalition
The votes are in after yesterday's election in Croatia: HDZ have 61 Sabor seats, and SDP have 56, not counting the 5 seats voted for by the diaspora which will all but certainly go HDZ's way once they've been counted. Nonetheless, both HDZ's leader Ivo Sanader and his SDP counterpart Zoran Milanović say that they're in talks with other parties to form a government (if only Milanović had been this self-confident when he took over the party leadership in June, he might not be scrabbling for allies now at all).
Javno.hr is playing the numbers game: say SDP brings the urban liberal HNS and Istrian IDS on side. That should give them 67 seats, since Javno found an extra SDP one behind the sofa. HDZ ought to have 66, counting the diaspora, so on comes another round of hunt-the-coalition-partner. The far-right HSP are down to one seat (their leader Anto Đapić), and presumably not even HDZ would have the cheek to make an offer to Branimir Glavaš's Slavonian regionalist party HDSSB after Sanader spent most of last year getting its leader tried for war crimes. Which is exactly why SDP wouldn't dare ask him into government: although, given some of the PM candidate Ljubo Jurčić's off-colour comments during the summer, maybe all bets should be off. The pensioners' party HSU (as tracked by Dr Sean's Diary) have only one seat too, and will probably be auctioning it off to the highest bidder already. The peasant party HSS (5 seats) and shadow-of-their-former-selves liberals HSLS (2 seats) got Sanader out of trouble in 2003, but then there are the five seats for ethnic minorities (who might give SDP a leg up, but then again, might not).
Maybe anyone who can make head or tail of this deserves to run the country...