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Parliamentary elections start in Croatia

(Xinhua)

15:42, December 04, 2011

ZAGREB, Dec. 4 (Xinhua) -- Some 4.5 million Croatians went to the polls on Sunday for parliamentary elections.

More than 6,500 polling stations across the country opened at 7 a.m. local time (0600 GMT) and will be closed at 7 p.m. (1800 GMT).

A total of 4,359 candidates are running for 151 seats in the parliament. Preliminary results are expected at midnight.

Croatia is set to join the European Union in July 2013. Sunday's elections will decide which party or coalition will lead the former Yugoslav republic to become the bloc's 28th member.

Latest opinion polls showed the ruling Croatian Democratic Union plagued by corruption scandals will be ousted by the opposition coalition led by the Social Democratic Party.

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