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Local elections

Local elections in general

According to the Local Elections Act (Official Gazette Nos. 144/12, 121/16, 98/19, 42/20, 144/20 and 37/21), local elections relate to
  1. elections of members of representative bodies of units of local and regional self-government,
  2. elections of municipality heads, mayors and county prefects and their deputies, as well as
  3. elections for deputies of municipality heads, mayors and county prefects from among members of national minorities or from among members of Croatian people.
The Government of the Republic of Croatia calls the elections and they are held on the third Sunday in May every four years. In 2021, local elections will be held on 16th May.
 
Right to vote in local elections have all Croatian citizens over the age of eighteen residing in the territory of local and regional self-government in which the elections take place. Nationals of the European Union Member States, residing either permanently or temporarily in the unit holding the election, have the right to vote for members of the representative body of that unit and to stand as a candidate for members of the representative body of that unit, according to special legislation.
 
Authorities conducting elections are the State Electoral Commission of the Republic of Croatia, Electoral Commission of the City of Zagreb, county, city and municipal electoral commissions as well as electoral committees.
 
Lists of candidates and candidacies must be received by the competent electoral commission within 14 days of the day the resolution to call the elections came into force.
 
The election campaign is a group of activities undertaken by contestants in the election campaign for the purpose of presenting themselves to the public and explaining their election programme to  voters.
The election campaign begins on the day of the publication of  summary list, and ends 24 hours prior to election day. Election silence begins after the end of the election campaign, and ends on election day at 19:00. During election silence, the following is prohibited: public presentation and explanation to voters of contestants’ election programmes, persuading voters to vote for a specific list of candidates or candidate, publication of assessments of election results, publication of preliminary, unofficial election results or statements and interviews with participants in the election campaign as well as citing their statements or written works.
 
Objections relating to irregularities in the procedure of candidacy or in the procedure of election of members of representative bodies of units of local and regional self-government may be filed by a political party, the leader of a list of candidates of voters, candidates, at least 100 voters or at least 5% of voters of a unit of local and regional self-government in which the elections are being held. In the procedure of candidacy or in the procedure of the election of members of the executive body of a unit of local and regional self-government, an objection may be filed by political parties, candidates, at least 100 voters or at least 5% of voters of a unit in which the elections are being held.

Objections relating to irregularities in the procedure of candidacy and the procedure of elections for members of county assemblies, City Assembly of the City of Zagreb, county prefects and the mayor of the City of Zagreb should be submitted to the State Election Commission. Objections relating to irregularities in the procedure of candidacy and the procedure of elections for members of municipal and city councils, municipality heads and mayors should be submitted to the competent county election commission.
Constitutionality and lawfulness of the elections   is supervised by the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Croatia. The Constitutional Court decides on electoral disputes which do not fall within the competences of courts, by deciding on appeals against resolutions of competent electoral commissions.
 
Local election campaign financing is regulated by the Political Activities, Election Campaign and Referenda Financing Act (Official Gazette Nos. 29/19 and 98/19).