2003 Croatian parliamentary election

Parliamentary elections to elect all 151 members of the Croatian Parliament were held on November 23, 2003.[1] They were the 5th parliamentary elections to take place since the first multi-party elections in 1990. Turnout was 61.7%. The result was a victory for the opposition Croatian Democratic Union party (HDZ) which won a plurality of 66 seats, but fell short of the 76 needed to form a government. HDZ chairman Ivo Sanader was named the 8th Prime Minister of Croatia on 23 December 2003, after parliament passed a confidence motion in his government cabinet, with 88 Members of Parliament voting in favor, 29 against and 14 abstaining. The ruling coalition, consisting of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Croatian People's Party (HNS), Croatian Peasant Party (HSS), Party of Liberal Democrats (Libra) and the Liberal Party (LS) did not contest the elections as a single bloc. Namely, the SDP ran with the Istrian Democratic Assembly (IDS), the Party of Liberal Democrats (Libra) and the Liberal Party (LS), HNS ran with the Alliance of Primorje-Gorski Kotar (PGS) and the Slavonia-Baranja Croatian Party (SBHS), while HSS ran on its own.

2003 Croatian parliamentary election

← 2000 23 November 2003 2007 →

All 151 seats to Hrvatski sabor
76 seats needed for a majority
  First party Second party
  Svecanost podizanja NATOve zastave Zagreb 65.jpg
Ivica Račan, facingright.jpg
Leader Ivo Sanader Ivica Račan
Last election 46 seats 49 seats
Seats won
66 / 151
43 / 151
Seat change Increase20 Decrease6
Popular vote 840,692 560,593
Percentage 33.9% 22.6%

  Third party Fourth party
  Vesna Pusić 1.JPG
Zlatko Tomcic.jpg
Leader Vesna Pusić Zlatko Tomčić
Last election 5 seats
17 seats
Seats won
11 / 151
10 / 151
Seat change Increase6 Decrease7
Popular vote 198,781 177,359
Percentage 8.0% 7.2%

Croatian Parliamentary Election Results 2003.png
Results of the election in each of the ten electoral districts of Croatia: the party with the majority of votes in each electoral unit.
HDZ: blue; SDP coalition: red

Prime Minister before election

Ivica Račan

Subsequent Prime Minister

Ivo Sanader

Diagram of final election results
Results of the election based on the majority of votes in each municipality of Croatia
  SDP - IDS - Libra - LS
  NL Vlado Zec

General informationEdit

There are 10 electoral units based on geography and population. In each unit, 14 candidates are elected on proportional electoral system. The election threshold is 5%.

In addition, 8 candidates are elected to represent national minorities.

The citizens that live outside Croatian borders vote in a separate electoral unit. The number of representatives elected from this unit will be determined after the elections, based on how many people actually vote in Croatia, so that there is equal value of votes both inside and outside Croatia. For reference, the number of diaspora seats in the 2000-2003 Sabor was six.

Total: 140 domestic seats + 8 minority seats + 4 diaspora seats.[2]

Distribution of minority seats:[3]

Parties and coalitionsEdit

Pre-election coalitions:[3]

  • DC and HSLS, in all electoral units
  • SDP and IDS, in the 8th electoral unit (the county of Istria et al.)
  • HB and HIP, in all electoral units
  • SDP and Libra in the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 10th electoral unit
  • SDP and LS, in the 4th and 6th electoral unit
  • HNS and SBHS, in the 4th and 5th electoral unit (counties of Slavonia)
  • HNS and PGS, in the 7th and 8th electoral unit (Northern seacoast counties)

Opinion pollsEdit

Date Polling Organisation/Client Sample size HDZ SDP HNS-LD HSS HSLS Other Undecided
Nov 2003 Prizma 32% 17% 10% 9% 9%
Sep 2003 Puls 28% 18% 8% 11% 9%
17–18 February 2003 Globus 700 21.6% 18.5% 9.4% 7.5% 5.5% 19.1%


Summary of the 23 November 2003 Croatian Parliament (Hrvatski Sabor) election results
Parties and coalitions Votes % Seats % Seat trend Seat change (%)
Croatian Democratic Union (Hrvatska demokratska zajednica) 840,692 33.9 66 43.71   +13,25
Coalition: Social Democratic Party (Socijaldemokratska partija Hrvatske) 560,593 22.6 34 22.52   -5,96
Istrian Democratic Assembly (Istarski demokratski sabor/Dieta democratica Istriana) 4 1.99   0
Party of Liberal Democrats (Libra - Stranka liberalnih demokrata) 3 1.99
Liberal Party (Liberalna stranka) 2 1.32   0
Coalition: Croatian People's Party (Hrvatska narodna stranka) 198,781 8.0 10 6.62   +5.30
Alliance of Primorje - Gorski Kotar (Primorsko-goranski savez) 1 0.66   -0.66
Slavonia-Baranja Croatian Party (Slavonsko-baranjska hrvatska stranka) - 0.00   -0.66
Croatian Peasant Party (Hrvatska seljačka stranka) 177,359 7.2 9 5.96   -4.64
Coalition: Croatian Party of Rights (Hrvatska stranka prava) 158,073 6.4 8 5.30   +2,65
Zagorje Democratic Party (Zagorska demokratska stranka) - 0.00
Međimurje Party (Međimurska stranka) - 0.00
Coalition: Croatian Social Liberal Party (Hrvatska socijalno liberalna stranka) 100,335 4.0 2 1.32   -15.24
Democratic Centre (Demokratski centar) 1 0.66
Croatian Pensioners' Party (Hrvatska stranka umirovljenika) 98,537 4.0 3 1.99
Coalition: Croatian Democratic Peasants Party (Hrvatska demokratska seljačka stranka) 24,872 1.0 1 0.66
Croatian Democratic Centre (Hrvatski demokratski centar) - 0.00
Democratic Prigorje-Zagreb Party (Demokratska prigorsko-zagrebačka stranka) - 0.00
Independent Democratic Serb Party (Samostalna demokratska srpska stranka) (as independent candidates) - - 3 1.99
Croatian Peasant Party (Hrvatska seljačka stranka) - - 1 0.66
Democratic Union of Hungarians of Croatia (Demokratska zajednica Mađara Hrvatske) - - 1 0.66
German People's Union (Njemačka narodnosna zajednica) - - 1 0.66
Istrian Democratic Assembly (Istarski demokratski sabor/Dieta democratica Istriana) (as independent candidate) - - 1 0.66
Party of Democratic Action of Croatia (Stranka demokratske akcije Hrvatske) - - 1 0.66
Total (turnout 61.7%) 2,478,967   152 100.00
Invalid Votes 41,041
Votes Cast 2,520,008
Registered Voters 4,087,553
Source: Croatian State Election Committee[3] and IFES.

The number of diaspora mandates is reduced by 2 compared to previous elections due to somewhat lower diaspora turnout. Due to distribution according to the d'Hondt method, the independent lists for diaspora won't be allocated seats, even though they received over 5% of total votes.

National minorities elected 8 representatives through a separate election system: Vojislav Stanimirović (22,2% of votes), Milorad Pupovac (21,7%) and Ratko Gajica (13,8%) for the Serb national minority, Jene Adam (42%) for the Hungarian minority, Furio Radin (79,8%) for the Italian minority, Zdenka Čuhnil (39,2%) for the Czech and Slovak minorities, Nikola Mak (14,3%) for the Austrian, Bulgarian, German, Jewish, Polish, Roma, Romanian, Rusyn, Russian, Turkish, Ukrainian, Vlach minorities and Šemso Tanković (59,1%) for the Albanian, Bosniak, Macedonian, Montenegrin and Slovene minorities.

Ivo Sanader of Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) was appointed as Prime Minister by the President and confirmed by the Croatian Parliament.

The new Government was formed of 13 HDZ ministers and 1 of Democratic Centre.[4]

Popular vote
SDP - IDS - Libra - LS

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Odluka o raspisivanju izbora za zastupnike u Hrvatskom saboru". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2011-12-11.
  2. ^ Izvješće OESS/ODIHR-ove izborne promatračke misije, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, pdf
  3. ^ a b c "Službeni rezultati izbora za zastupnike u Hrvatski Sabor" [Official results of the election of representatives for the Croatian Parliament]. Izbori.hr. Croatian State Election Committee. 2003-12-03. Archived from the original on 2012-06-01. Retrieved 2011-11-21.
  4. ^ "VLADA Republike Hrvatske - kronologija. Vlada: 9 / predsjednik Vlade: Dr. sc. Ivo Sanader". Archived from the original on 2012-07-10. Retrieved 2011-12-11.

External linksEdit