Croatia will hold a parliamentary election on April 17


Croatia will hold a parliamentary election on April 17, the country’s president said on Friday.

President Zoran Milanovic scheduled the parliamentary vote after Croatia’s parliament dissolved on Thursday.

The ballot next month will pit the ruling conservative Croatian Democratic Union against a group of centrist and left-leaning parties who have announced they will run as an alliance.

Just hours after setting the election date, Milanovic announced a surprise bid to run for prime minister as the candidate of the opposition Social Democratic Party.

“I promise a determined and (corruption) clear government,” said Milanovic, who has served as prime minister in the past. “I’m inviting all honorable people and parties to come together (for the election.)”

Croatia is also slated to hold a presidential election by the end of the year. Milanovic said later he would resign as president after the parliamentary “victory.”

Milanovic will challenge the current conservative Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic and his ruling Croatian Democratic Union, known by its Croatian initials as the HDZ.

The HDZ have largely held power since Croatia gained independence from the former Yugoslavia in 1991. The party has faced mounting accusations of corruption from the opposition ahead of the ballot but has denied the claims.

Milanovic also set the country’s voting for the European Parliament on June 7.

The Adriatic Sea nation became the newest member of the European Union in 2013 and joined Europe’s free travel and euro zones last year.

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