Invalid ballots indicate reluctance of voters to back either option offered

Sunday’s presidential runoff in Croatia was marked by a high turnout as well as by a very high number of invalid ballots which analysts interpret as a statement by part of the electorate that they do not support either of the two political options offered.

More than 60,000 invalid ballots were cast in the runoff which indicates that some citizens are dissatisfied with both political options, a professor at the Faculty of Political Sciences, Zdravko Petak said for Hina, adding that this was also obvious with the number of votes that Ivan Sincic won in the first round.

However, Petak notes that the majority of Sincic’s supporters did not act in line with his instructions to cross out both candidates in the second round as the number of invalid ballots would have been much higher in that case.

Sincic, nominated by the “Human Barrier” civil action group won 16.42% of votes on 28 December or slightly below 300,000 ballots.

Compared to the first round when there was 27,791 invalid votes or 1,56 percent in the second round of the election that number was almost doubled with 60,728 invalid votes recorded or 2.69 percent.

Dragan Zelic of the civil society organisation to monitor elections GONG said that high number of invalid votes was a clear message to political parties that they have to change something in their parties and their policies. “It’s obvious that a section of the electorate is dissatisfied with the way policies are being conducted and that this is a sign of protest against political establishment,” Zelic concluded.