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Early Results Give Conservatives Lead in Croatian Parliamentary Election


Voters inspect their ballots at a polling station in Zagreb, Croatia, Sept. 11, 2016.

Early results from Croatia's parliamentary election show the conservative Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) likely will win the most seats, but not enough to rule on its own, setting up another coalition government.

With more than half the votes counted, HDZ is on track to win at least 61 seats, followed by the liberal Social Democrats' party, the People's Coalition, with 53 seats.

No matter which one finishes on top, that party will have to turn to the MOST party and its projected 12 seats to negotiate a ruling majority.

This is the second time in less than a year that Croatia had to hold an early election after the parliament was dissolved and the government collapsed.

The previous right-wing government fell apart in June after less than six months in power over deadlocked talks on economic reforms.

Croatia, the newest European Union member, is struggling with one of the EU's weakest economies, including low annual growth and high unemployment.

Political analysts are not holding out much hope that a new government will make any progress in solving the country's problems.