Croatian PM and ruling party president Andrej Plenković has officially won the inter-party elections that were held, despite the COVID-19 outbreak which is paralysing the rest of Europe.
According to the first results, Plenković and his moderate team „Courageous for Croatia“ won more than 80%t of the counted votes.
His main opponent, former foreign minister Miro Kovač, who was calling for turning the party more to the right, won around 16% of the votes.
Tomo Medved, Plenković’s vice-president candidate, won around 70% of the votes while Kovač’s candidate Ivan Penava got only 30%.
Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ, EPP) announced that around 65% of the party members have participated in the elections, a lower turnout than during the previous years.
However, this was the first time that the party members have been voting based on one-member-one-vote which has drastically changed the rules of the game because all of the party members could have voted separately for all of the vacant functions.
Most analysts expected that such a measure would result in combining the candidates from both wings in the newly formed presidency, which would additionally divide the party. However, that did not happen and Plenković’s moderate team single-handedly won.
What remains to be seen is how Plenković is going to react after his victory and whether he is going to be willing to extend cooperation towards the right-wing of the party, especially after the vicious campaign.
The opposing teams had their election nights separately, thereby symbolizing the divide that will persist on the Croatian right. (Tea Trubić Macan, EURACTIV.hr)