The Old City Hall in Zagreb, Croatia’s capital, where the city’s local government meets. Local elections in Croatia will take place on May 16, 2021. Photo credit: Wikimedia/Suradnik13 (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Freedom House Rating
May 16, 2021
July 2024 (due)
December 2024 (due)
Snap Parliamentary Elections
July 5, 2020
December 22, 2019 (Second round: January 5, 2020)
May 21, 2017 (Second round: June 4, 2017)
Croatia has scheduled local elections for May 16, 2021.
Since Croatia’s declaration of independence in 1991 and the subsequent breakup of Yugoslavia, Croatia has held regular elections.
Croatia has a number of political parties. The two biggest are the conservative Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) and the Social Democratic Party (SDP). The parties have alternated stints in power. On the one hand, SDP currently holds the presidency, and on the other hand, HDZ heads the government coalition.
These elections got a bit of a shakeup when Milan Bandic, the mayor of Zagreb, died in February after a combined 20 years in office (according to some reports, he was the world’s longest-serving mayor). Although Bandic had a devoted following, he was also controversial, and embroiled in a number of scandals. A former communist, he joined the Social Democratic Party (SDP) when Croatia began holding multiparty elections in 1990, but later broke off to start his own party. Meanwhile, HDZ, the main conservative party, won last year’s parliamentary elections, after losing the January 2020 presidential election. Tomislav Tomašević from the green-left Možemo! appears to be leading polls for mayor of Zagreb.
Croatia is a member of NATO and the European Union.
Tea Trubić Macan, Euractiv (May 10, 2021): HDZ remain the most popular political party in Croatia
HINA (April 18, 2021): Zagreb Mayoral Candidate: Wide Coalition Will Be Needed in City Assembly
Anja Vladisavljevic, Balkan Insight (March 22, 2021): As Zagreb quake anniversary passes, Croatia’s anger grows
Anja Vladisavljevic, Balkan Insight (March 5, 2021): Death of Veteran Mayor Injects New Uncertainty into Zagreb Election
AP (February 28, 2021): Long-time mayor of Croatian capital of Zagreb dies at 65
Sven Milekic, Balkan Insight (February 17, 2021): Zoran Milanovic: Croatia’s Jekyll and Hyde
Anja Vladisavljevic, Balkan Insight (July 5, 2020): Conservatives Win Croatia Election, First Results Show
Joe Orovic and Patrick Kingsley, New York Times (July 5, 2020): Croatian Prime Minister’s Gamble on Early Elections Pays Off.
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Updated May 12, 2021