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Local elections held in Croatia
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09:13, May 18, 2009

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A total of 6,591 polling stations in Croatia opened on Sunday for local elections, the fifth since the former Yugoslav republic gained independence in 1991.

Some 4.08 million voters will elect 866 members of 21 county assemblies, 51 city council members of the City of Zagreb as well as 2,206 members of 126 city and town councils and 5,343 members of 427 municipal councils.

A total of 46,325 candidates are running in the elections for the law-making bodies of local units, with women accounting for 24.19 percent of the total. They will be elected by proportional representation.

A total of 21 county prefects, 42 deputy county prefects, 127 city mayors and their deputies and 429 municipal heads and their deputies will be elected by popular vote for the first time.

Polling stations opened at 7 a.m. (0500 GMT) and would close at7.00 p.m. (1700 GMT) on Sunday.

Croatia's non-governmental election monitoring association GONG said that the voting on Sunday was proceeding in a democratic atmosphere at most of the polling stations throughout the country.

Cooperation with voter committees and election commissions was very good, GONG said in a statement, which was monitoring the voting with 700 observers and 45 mobile teams.


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