Croatia Announces New Elections for December 4

Posted October 31st, 2011 at 9:25 am (UTC-5)
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Croatian President Ivo Josipovic has announced that new parliamentary elections will be held on December 4.

Mr. Josipovic made the announcement Monday, after Croatia's parliament voted to dissolve on Friday.

The ruling Croatian Democratic Union will take on a coalition of center-left parties, after the HDZ was shaken by a spate of corruption scandals.

The opposition parties are leading by a convincing margin over HDZ in recent election polls.

The European Union has closely scrutinized the situation in Croatia and urged it to fight its corruption scandals. Croatia is set to become the EU's 28th member in 2013.

On Friday, the first corruption trial against former prime minister Ivo Sanader was adjourned because he was hospitalized with health problems. His trial is expected to resume next Thursday.

Mr. Sanader stepped down as prime minister in 2009. Prosecutors charged him last month with accepting a bribe in dealings with an Austrian bank and embezzling millions of dollars from state-run firms.

He is also facing several investigations for abuse of power.

Mr. Sanader was arrested in Austria last December and extradited to Croatia, where he has been in jail since July. He denies any wrongdoing.