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Parliamentary elections in Croatia are subject to proportional representation, in which nominating entities (mainly parties), draw up groups of candidates as ordered electoral lists. Seats are allocated according to the D’Hondt method, and the electoral threshold amounts to five per cent.
Representatives are elected to the Croatian parliament (Sabor) in twelve constituencies (see Figure 1) for a four-year term. The constituencies each consist of two counties, of which there are 20 in Croatia, with the city of Zagreb belonging to the corresponding county, as well as a constituency for the diaspora and a constituency for the minorities (Serbians, Italians etc.).
Voters can only choose one list. Since the parliamentary elections in 2015, they have been able to cast a preferential vote to a candidate from this list. If a candidate achieves more than ten per cent of these preferential votes in proportion to the candidate above them on the list, they move up the list according to the party’s result (it is type of cumulation as is commonplace in Germany during local elections such as in Bavaria and Hessen). Should two candidates receive the same amount of votes, the list sequence is the decisive factor.
Regular parliamentary elections are held every four years. The President of the Republic (currently Zoran Milanovic, Social Democrat), convenes the newly elected parliament for its first session. He/she then appoints someone to form a government who, according to the allocation of seats in the Sabor, has the opportunity to gain the confidence of the majority of its members through negotiations. At least 76 mandates are necessary to form a parliamentary majority.
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