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Croatian Opposition's Election Victory Confirmed


Croatian opposition party leader Zoran Milanovic celebrates the parliamentary election after exit polls showed his party won a majority in parliament, in Zagreb, Croatia, December 4, 2011.

Croatian opposition party leader Zoran Milanovic celebrates the parliamentary election after exit polls showed his party won a majority in parliament, in Zagreb, Croatia, December 4, 2011.

Official results in Croatia's parliamentary elections confirm the center-left opposition bloc defeated the ruling conservatives to take the lead in overhauling the economy before the country joins the European Union.

Croatia's state electoral commission says the four-party coalition known as "Kukuriku" (Croatian for a rooster cry), led by the Social Democratic Party, won 80 seats in the new 151-member parliament.

The conservative Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) won 47 seats in voting Sunday.

The new prime minister of Croatia will be Social Democratic Party leader Zoran Milanovic. The 45-year-old replaces conservative Jadranka Kosor.

The Croatian Democratic Union had been in power for all but two years, since the 1990s war for independence from the former Yugoslav federation. The party saw its popularity decline, however, as it became embroiled in a series of corruption scandals, including its alleged involvement in illegal fundraising for previous elections.

Croatia's new government faces a serious economic crisis reflected in a high unemployment rate and declining living standards. It is slated to become a member of the European Union in 2013.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.

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