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Croatia

Yearbook 2016

Croatia. In January, just over two months after the parliamentary elections, Croatian-Canadian businessman Tihomir Oresković succeeded in forming government with the conservative HDZ (Croatian Democratic Union) and the center-right party MOST. According to countryaah, Oresković was a party politically independent and was given the task of forming government after several other attempts failed.

2016 Croatia

After only a week, the minister responsible for war veterans was forced to resign, after talking about establishing a register of national traitors. But soon, criticism from the opposition and citizen activists grew against what was perceived as indulgence against right-wing nationalists, with increasing intolerance against ethnic minorities and attacks on media as a result. Particularly harsh criticism was directed at Minister of Culture Zlatko Hasanbegović, a historian accused of close ties to right-wing extremes.

However, when the government collapsed after just under six months, the triggering cause was a scandal involving a conflict of interest. It had been revealed that the Deputy Prime Minister and HDZ leader Tomislav Karamarko's wife had a consulting assignment for a Hungarian energy company with which the Croatian state had a dispute. The revelation led to conflicts within the government coalition and in June the government fell into a vote of no confidence.

Attempts to form a new government failed, resulting in a new election in September. Meanwhile, Karamarko resigned as party leader for HDZ and was succeeded by former diplomat Andrej Plenković. He promised to approach the political center and move it away from populism and extremism.

The election gave HDZ a stronger mandate and in October the party was able to re-form government with MOST and with the eight representatives of national minorities who have guaranteed a seat in parliament.

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