Zagrab: Croatia's political parties faced tough negotiations today to cobble together a government after the conservative opposition won a narrow election victory, heightening uncertainty in a country battling the migration crisis and recession.
The tight result means it could take weeks of horse-trading to cobble together a new government following the country's first election since joining the European Union.
The new government will be under pressure to push through reforms in a country slowly emerging from six years of recession and grappling with the transit of tens of thousands of migrants.
Results after nearly 99 percent of votes were counted showed the opposition Patriotic Coalition, led by the HDZ party, taking 59 seats in the 151-seat parliament -- just three more than the centre-left bloc, led by the Social Democrats (SDP), which has ruled for the past four years.
With no outright majority, new political party Most ("Bridge" in Croatian), emerged as a powerful force in national politics, coming third with 19 seats, but its leader repeated a pre-electoral pledge that his party would not enter a coalition.