On Thursday, the Croatian Parliament passed a new Law on Electoral Districts for the election of representatives to the Croatian Parliament. While the law doesn't alter the existing electoral system, it does introduce some changes to the electoral district map, resulting in approximately 22 percent of voters switching to different districts. The law received support from 77 lawmakers, while 56 opposed it.
Under the new law, Croatia's future parliamentary representatives, totalling 151, will be elected according to the current model, with 10 electoral districts, each electing 14 representatives. Eight representatives will be chosen by members of national minorities, and three by Croatian citizens living abroad in special electoral districts.
The new law, as proposed by the government, ensures equal weight of each vote in every district and complies with the conditions set by the Constitutional Court. In February of this year, the Constitutional Court invalidated the existing Law on Electoral Districts, which will cease to be effective on October 1st.
The most significant change resulting from the redrawing of electoral districts affects Zagreb, which will now be divided into three electoral districts instead of four. Zagreb will fall under the jurisdiction of the first, second, and sixth electoral districts.
The first electoral district covers central parts of Zagreb, Velika Gorica, and a few other municipalities.
The second district includes Bjelovar-Bilogora County, the southern part of Koprivnica-Križevci County, Zagreb County, and the eastern part of Zagreb city.
The third district, as before, encompasses Varaždin County, Međimurje County, Krapina-Zagorje County, and several municipalities in Zagreb County.
The fourth electoral district includes Osijek-Baranja County, Virovitica-Podravina County, and the northern parts of Koprivnica-Križevci County.
The fifth, as previously, covers three Slavonian counties - Vukovar-Srijem County, Brod-Posavina County, Požega-Slavonia County, and the eastern parts of Sisak-Moslavina County.
The sixth electoral district consists of the western part of Zagreb and parts of Zagreb County.
The seventh electoral district, the largest, represents central Croatia, including areas with the highest depopulation rates - the entire Lika-Senj County, the northern part of Zadar County, parts of Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, the whole Karlovac County, and the western and northern parts of Sisak-Moslavina County.
The eighth district includes Istria County, the city of Rijeka, and specific cities and municipalities in Primorje-Gorski Kotar County.
In the ninth district, you'll find the northwestern part of Split-Dalmatia County, the entire Šibenik-Knin County, and parts of Zadar County, including the city of Zadar.
The tenth electoral district includes Dubrovnik-Neretva County and parts of Split-Dalmatia County.
Following the government's lead, the Parliament rejected opposition amendments aimed at rearranging some electoral districts, reducing the number of representatives elected by national minorities, and allowing postal and electronic voting for the diaspora.
The opposition reiterated its dissatisfaction today with the final version of the law, the process, and the transparency of its adoption.