THE LEGISLATION COMMITTEE OF THE CROATIAN PARLIAMENT

 

833

 

On the basis of the Conclusion reached by the Croatian Parliament at its 13th session on 23 March 2005, a revised version of the Act on the Election of Members of the Representative Bodies of Local and Regional Self-Government Units was prepared by the Legislation Committee of the Croatian Parliament at its 40th session on 1 April 2005.

The revised version of the Act on the Election of Members of the Representative Bodies of Local and Regional Self-Government Units encompasses the Act on the Election of Members of the Representative Bodies of the Units of Local and Regional Self-Government (Official Gazette 33/01), its amendments published in the Official Gazette 10/02, 155/02, 45/03, 43/04 and 40/05 in which the time of their entry into effect was set.

 

Class: 015-01/05-01/07

Zagreb, 1 April 2005

 

The Vice-President of

the Legislation Committee

Josip Leko, LLB, m. p.

 

ACT

 

ON ELECTION OF MEMBERS OF REPRESENTATIVE BODIES OF LOCAL AND REGIONAL SELF-GOVERNMENT UNITS (revised version)

 

I. GENERAL PROVISIONS

 

Article 1

 

This Act shall regulate the election of members of municipal and town councils and county assemblies as well as the City Assembly of the City of Zagreb (hereinafter: representative bodies) of the units of local and regional self-government (hereinafter: units).

 

Article 2

 

Members of the representative bodies shall be elected by the Croatian citizens of legal age with permanent residence on the territory of the unit in which elections for a representative body are conducted.

A Croatian citizen of legal age with permanent residence on the territory of the unit in which elections for a representative body are conducted can be nominated and elected as a member of the representative body of this unit.

 

Article 3

 

Members of the representative bodies shall be elected by direct elections (hereinafter: elections) and by secret ballot.

It shall not be possible to recall the members of the representative bodies, and their rights and obligations start on the day their representative body is constituted.

A representative to a representative body cannot incur criminal and misdemeanour liability neither for words spoken nor for voting in the work of the representative body.

The term of office of members of the representative bodies elected in regular elections shall last until the announcement of the decision of the Government of the Republic of Croatia on calling the elections or until the announcement of the decision of the Government of the Republic of Croatia on dissolving a representative body pursuant to the act governing local and regional self-government. 

The term of office of members of the representative bodies elected in early elections shall last until the expiration of the current term of office of the representative bodies elected in regular elections.

 

Article 4

 

Regular elections shall be held on the third Sunday in May, every four years.

Elections of members of the representative bodies of the units shall be called by the Government of the Republic of Croatia by means of a special decision setting the exact day the elections are to be held.

In case the term of office has ended due to the dissolution of a representative body, pursuant to a special act, the early elections shall be held within 60 days from the day the representative body was dissolved.

The period from the day elections are called to the day they are held should last not less than 30 and not more than 60 days.

In case the representative body was dissolved in the calendar year in which regular elections are to be held, but before they are held, early elections will not be called and held in that unit.

 

Article 5

 

A member of the representative body of a unit cannot be a member of the representative body of another unit, or a member of the government of the same unit at the same time.

A member of the representative body of a unit cannot be a judge, a judge of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Croatia, the President of the Republic of Croatia, Vice-President of the Government of the Republic of Croatia, Public Prosecutor, Deputy Public Prosecutor, Ombudsman, Deputy Ombudsman, minister, State Secretary, Deputy State Secretary, assistant minister, Secretary General, the director of a state administrative organization, deputy director of a state administrative organization, the chief of the Office Staff of the Government of the Republic of Croatia, a person on active duty in the armed forces as well as an official and employee in Croatian Armed Forces, the director and an employee in administrative bodies and services of the same unit, as well as a member of the board of directors of a company in which the majority stake is owned by the unit as well as the director of an institution founded by the unit.

A person holding an incompatible office has the right to run for office of a member of the representative body of the unit, excluding a person on active duty in the armed forces, as well as an official and employee in Croatian Armed Forces, and if elected as a member of the representative body, on the occasion of constituting the representative body he/she has to make a statement whether he/she shall take the office of a member or he/she shall continue to exercise the incompatible office. In that case his/her term of office shall be suspended, and his/her deputy shall replace him/her, pursuant to the provisions of this Act.

 

Article 6

 

The term of office of a member of a representative body, who during his/her term of office takes an office that is considered to be incompatible pursuant to the provisions of this Act, shall be suspended for the period in which the person exercises an incompatible office. During that time his/her deputy shall hold office pursuant to the provisions of this Act.

A member of the representative body who takes an incompatible office has to inform the president of the representative body about that within 8 days from the day he/she took office.

Upon ceasing to perform an incompatible office, a member of a representative body shall continue to exercise the office in the representative body based on the termination of the suspension of the member’s term of office, on condition that he/she submits a written request to the president of the representative body within 8 days from the date he/she stopped exercising the incompatible office. The suspension of the term of office of the member of the representative body shall cease on the eight day from the day of submission of the written request.

The request to continue performing the duty of a member of a representative pursuant to the termination of the suspension of the member’s term of office, may be submitted once during that term of office.

 

Article 7

 

The term of office of a member of a representative body shall end before the expiration of the regular four-year term of office in the following cases:

– in case he/she tenders his/her resignation, on the day a written resignation was submitted in line with the rules on delivery stipulated by the General Administrative Procedure Act,

– in case he/she was stripped of his/her legal competence, i.e. on the day the court decision became enforceable,

– in case he/she was sentenced to imprisonment to a period of over 6 months on the day the court decision became enforceable,

– in case he/she cancelled his/her permanent residence on the territory of the unit, on the day permanent residence was cancelled,

– in case he/she lost his/her Croatian citizenship pursuant to the provisions of the act governing Croatian citizenship, on the day it was lost,

– in case of death.

 

Article 8

 

Members of the representative bodies shall have their deputies who shall exercise that office in case the term of office of a member of the representative body has been suspended or has ceased before the period for which he/she was elected.

A member of the representative body elected on the party list shall be replaced by a non-elected candidate from the same list, as determined by the party that nominated the list.

A member of the representative body elected on a coalition list of two or more political parties shall be replaced by a non-elected candidate from the same list, as determined by the political party, to which the member of the representative body whose term of office has ceased belonged to at the moment of the elections.

A member of the representative body elected on an independent list shall be replaced by the first next non-elected candidate from the list.

 

Article 9

 

The Statute of a unit shall govern the number of members of its representative body from among the Croatian citizens who are members of national minorities pursuant to the provisions of the Constitutional Act on the Rights of National Minorities.

The representative body of the unit in which members of national minorities have the right to adequate number of representatives in that body is obliged to harmonize the statute of the unit with the provision referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article in a way prescribed by the Constitutional Act on the Rights of National Minorities before every election in a timely manner.

In case when the representative body does not act in accordance with the obligation referred to in paragraph 2 of this Article, the obligation should be fulfilled by a new elected representative body within 60 days from its constituting.

 

Article 10

 

In the procedure stipulated by law and at the time of the determination of the voting results for the representative bodies of the units of local and regional self-government, a competent election commission shall determine and announce whether national minorities have been adequately represented in the election as guaranteed by the Constitutional Act on the Rights of National Minorities and the Statute of the unit of local and regional self-government. Regarding this, the State Election Commission shall issue detailed instructions and exercise supervision of the election procedure.

In case in the election a sufficient number of the representatives of national minorities to the representative bodies of the unit has not been reached pursuant to the provisions of the Constitutional Act on the Rights of National Minorities and the Statute of the unit, the number of representatives of the representative bodies shall increase up to the number necessary to ensure a sufficient number of representatives of national minorities. Only those members of a certain minority shall be considered elected who have been nominated to the electoral lists, and have not been elected, in the sequence according to proportional success of every list in the election.

In case even by applying the provision referred to in paragraph 2 of this Article a sufficient number of the representatives of national minorities to the representative body of the unit has not been reached, a by-election of the representatives of national minorities shall be called in the unit within 90 days from the day the representative body of the unit was constituted.

The procedure referred to in paragraphs 1 and 2 of this Article shall also be conducted in case during the term of office of the representative body the number of representatives of national minorities decreases and becomes insufficient. 

In case the number of members of the representative body of the unit exceeds the number stipulated by the Statute of the unit pursuant to the provisions of paragraphs 2 and 3 of this Article, the total number of members of the representative body can be even, which is an exception to the provision of Article 28 paragraph 1 of the Act on Local and Regional Self-Government.

 

Article 11

 

By-elections of representatives of national minorities to the election body of the unit shall be called by the Government of the Republic of Croatia.

The decision of the Government of the Republic of Croatian referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article shall include the information on the number of the representatives of national minorities elected to the representative body of the unit.

The decision of the Government of the Republic of Croatia shall be submitted on the same day it is submitted to the State Election Commission.

The right to nominate a candidate as a representative of a national minority to the representative body of the unit and his/her deputy shall be granted to political parties, voters and associations of national minorities that have the right to be represented. In case a candidate is nominated by voters, in order for the nomination to be valid the terms referred to in Article 16 of this Act shall apply.

A voting right (active and passive) in by-elections of representatives of national minorities shall have only members of minorities who have the right to be represented, and who, in addition to a general voting right, have permanent residence in the unit of local or regional self-government.

Each person nominating a candidate can nominate as many candidates to the list as are to be elected. 

In case up to three representatives of each national minority shall be elected to the representative body, in addition to a candidate for a representative, a candidate for his/her deputy, who shall be elected together with him/her, shall also be nominated. In case more than three representatives of each national minority shall be elected to the representative body, deputies shall be elected and given to the respective candidates pursuant to the provisions of Article 8 of this Act.

 

Article 12

 

In case the term of office of an elected member of the representative body of the members of national minority that has the right to be adequately represented in the representative body, ceases only due to death or inability to hold office, or for reasons by force of law, this representative shall be replaced pursuant to the provisions of Article 10 of this Act.

In case a member of the representative body re-assumes office pursuant to the termination of the suspension of the term of office of the elected representative of the members of a national minority referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article, the term of office of a deputy whose presence in the representative body has increased the number of members of this body in order to ensure the sufficient number of the representatives of national minorities shall also cease.

The member of the representative body of the members of a minority whose presence in the representative body has increased the number of the members of the national minority in order to achieve a sufficient number of representatives pursuant to the provision of Article 10 paragraph 1 of this Act can be replaced only by a member of the national minority, pursuant to the provisions of Article 10 paragraphs 1 and 2 of this Act.

 

Article 13

 

Members of the Croatian people are guaranteed to have members of the representative body of the local and regional self-government unit in which members of national minorities form the majority of the inhabitants.

The number of representatives of the Croatian people and the procedure used for providing it pursuant to the provision of paragraph 1 of this Article shall be stipulated by the provisions of this Act governing the way of exercising the right to have representatives of minorities in the bodies of local and regional self-government.

 

Article 14

 

Freedom to express their voting intentions and secrecy of voting shall be guaranteed to voters.

Nobody can be called to account because he/she has or has not voted.

Nobody can request from a voter to announce his/her voting intentions.

 

II. NOMINATION 

 

Article 15 

 

Lists for the election of members of the representative bodies shall be proposed by political parties registered in the Republic of Croatia.

Political parties shall determine and propose the lists for the election of members of the representative bodies using the method stipulated by their Statute, i.e. by means of a special decision made on the basis of the Statute.

When making a list a person nominating candidates is obliged to take into account the gender equality principle.

Two or more political parties registered in the Republic of Croatia can propose a coalition list for the election of members of a representative body.

 

Article 16

 

When voters propose lists of candidates as authorized persons, they shall be obliged to collect the following for the validity of a list:

– 100 signatures for a municipal list,

– 150 signatures for a town list,

– 500 signatures for a county list, i.e. the list for the election of members of the City Assembly of the City of Zagreb.

Persons nominating lists of independent candidates shall be the first three signatories of an independent list.

 

Article 17

 

Voters´ signatures shall be collected on a proper form, which shall contain the first and last name of a voter, fixed address of a voter, as well as the number and place of issuance of the valid identity card.

 

Article 18

 

Proposals of lists have to be received by the competent election commission of the unit in which elections are to be held for the representative body, within 12 days after the day the elections were called at the latest.

The title of a list shall be stated by using the full name of a party, i.e. parties of a coalition, and if applicable, the abbreviated name of the party, i.e. parties or party coalition proposing the list shall also be stated. In case the list was proposed by a group of voters, its title shall be “independent municipal list”, “independent town list”, “independent county list”, i.e. “independent list of the City of Zagreb”.

The holder of a list is the first nominated candidate on the list.

 

Article 19

 

A proposal of a list shall mandatorily contain the first and last name of each candidate on the list, nationality, fixed address, number of the valid identity card and the place of its issuance. In addition to the proposal of a list, the statement of each candidate on the list on accepting the nomination shall be submitted. The statement has to be certified by a notary public or competent election commission.

In addition to the information referred to in the previous paragraph, it shall be mandatory to state the title of the list in the proposal of the list, and the candidates have to be listed, starting with the ordinal number 1 to the final number, included, equal to the number of members of the representative bodies being elected in the election. The person proposing the list shall freely set the sequence of the candidates on the list.

In case that a person nominates more candidates than the number of members of the representative body that are to be elected in the election, only those nominations of candidates shall be considered valid up to the highest number of representatives that are to be elected to that representative body.

In case after the submission, a list becomes incomplete due to death of a nominated candidate, his/her name shall be removed from the list and the list shall be considered complete.

 

Article 20

 

A competent election commission shall prepare and publish in the press all valid proposed lists for the election of members of the representative bodies, within 48 hours after the deadline set for the nomination procedure and submission of lists.

 

Article 21  

 

The lists of candidates shall be included into the general list according to the alphabetical order of the full name of a political party, i.e. coalition proposing the list. In case several parties have proposed a coalition list of candidates, it shall be included in the general list according to the first party in order in the proposal.

 

Article 22

 

All political parties proposing the lists and the holders or other representatives of independent lists shall have the right to present and explain their election platforms and carry out their election campaigns under the same conditions.

The election campaign shall start on the day of the publication of the general list of candidates, and shall last until 24 hours before the election, at the latest.

 

Article 23

 

Local mass media are obliged to enable all political parties and the holders or other representatives of independent lists participating in the election to present and explain their election platform as well as to run their election campaign freely under equal conditions.

 

Article 24

 

On the day preceding the elections and on the election day until the polls (hereinafter: the polling places) are closed at 7 pm, no election campaign as well as neither the announcement of preliminary results nor assessment of election results are allowed. 

On the election day polls of public opinion and voting intentions can be taken, but the results of these polls cannot be announced before 7 pm.

 

Article 25

                                     

The right to reimbursement of costs for the election campaign shall be granted to those political parties and holders of independent lists who have won in the election at least one member of a representative body.

The amount of the cost reimbursement shall be set by the Government of the Republic of Croatia 20 days before the election at the latest. The decision of the Government on the amount of reimbursement shall apply to early elections, as well.

 

III. ELECTION OF MEMBERS OF REPRESENTATIVE BODIES

 

Article 26

 

The number of members of the representative body of the unit shall be set by the Statute of the unit as stipulated by law.

In case the number of members of the representative body has not been determined by the Statute, the number of representatives stipulated by the act governing local and regional self-government shall be elected to the representative body.

 

Article 27

 

Members of the representative bodies shall be elected by means of a proportional electoral method, in such a way that the whole territory of a unit forms one electoral constituency. All voters with permanent residence on the territory of that unit and those who go to the polls, can elect among all members of the representative body of the unit based on the lists of candidates.

The number of members of the representative body of the unit who will be elected from each list of candidates shall be set by dividing the total number of valid votes given to a list of candidates of the unit (the electorate of a list) by numbers from 1 to, including, the total number of representatives that are to be elected to the representative body in the election. Out of all the results, the last result in order is the common divisor that should be used for dividing the total number of votes of each list of candidates (the electorate of a list). Each list of candidates shall get as many seats in the representative body as it is equal to the number of times the total number of its votes (the electorate) contains the common divisor.

In case valid votes have been divided in such a way so that it cannot be determined which of two or more lists would get one seat or one more seat in a representative body, it shall be given to the list with more votes.

The right to participate in the allocation of seats in the representative body of the unit shall be given to all lists that win at least 5% of valid votes in the election.

 

Article 28

 

Candidates from each list of candidates shall be elected from the ordinal number 1 up to the final number equal to the number of seats a certain list has received in the representative body of the unit.

 

IV. BODIES RESPONSIBLE FOR CARRYING OUT ELECTIONS

 

Article 29

 

The bodies responsible for carrying out elections are the State Election Commission, election commissions in the units and electoral committees.

The election of members of a municipal council is carried out by a municipal election commission and electoral committees. 

The election of members of a town council is carried out by a town election commission and electoral committees.

The election of members of a county assembly is carried out by a county election commission, municipal, town election commission and electoral committees.

The election of members of a City Assembly of the City of Zagreb is carried out by the city election commission of the City of Zagreb and electoral committees.

Members of election commissions and electoral committees as well as their deputies can only be persons with the voting right.

Members of election commissions and electoral committees as well as their deputies have the right to remuneration for their work.

 

Article 30 

 

The State Election Commission of the Republic of Croatia shall prescribe the forms in the nomination election procedure, pass mandatory instructions for the work of election commissions and directly monitor the work of county election commissions and the city election commission of the City of Zagreb.

The State Election Commission shall have a permanent and an extended composition.

The permanent composition of the State Election Commission shall include the president and four members and their deputies. The office of the president of the State Election Commission, considering the title of the person holding it, shall be exercised by the president of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Croatia, and other members of the permanent composition of the State Election Commission shall be appointed by the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Croatia from among the judges of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Croatia and other distinguished lawyers who cannot be members of political parties.

The extended composition of the State Election Commission shall be determined upon accepting, determining and announcing electoral lists, and will include three representatives of the majority political party, i.e. coalition and three representatives of the opposition parties, i.e. coalition nominated by consent according to the party composition of the Croatian Parliament and their deputies. In case no consensus can be reached on the three representatives of the respective political parties and their deputies, they shall be elected by dice from among the proposed candidates before the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Croatia.

All members of the State Election Commission shall have equal duties and obligations.

 

Article 31

 

Municipal, town, county election commissions and the city commission of the City of Zagreb shall have a permanent and an extended composition.

The permanent composition of an election commission shall include the president and two members and their deputies. The president of an election commission has to be a graduate lawyer.

The extended composition of an election commission shall be determined upon accepting, determining and announcing the lists for the election of members of the representative body of a unit in which elections are to be held for the representative body, and it will include two representatives of the majority political party, i.e. coalition and two representatives of the opposition parties, i.e. coalition nominated by consent according to the party composition of the representative body of the unit. In case no consensus can be reached on the two representatives of the respective political parties and their deputies, they shall be elected by dice from among the proposed candidates.

The election of the extended composition of a municipal and town election commission shall be conducted before a county election commission, and the election of the extended composition of a county election commission before the State Election Commission.

All members of an election commission shall have equal duties and obligations.

 

Article 32 

 

The State Election Commission shall appoint the permanent composition of county election commissions and the city election commission of the City of Zagreb.

County election commissions shall appoint the permanent composition of municipal, i.e. town election commissions.

 

Article 33

 

Municipal and town election commissions shall:

– take care that the elections of members of a municipal, i.e. town council are prepared and conducted as stipulated by law,

– appoint members of electoral committees for municipal, city, i.e. county elections,

– determine the polling places for municipality, city, i.e. county elections,

– supervise the work of electoral committees,

– make all technical preparations in order to carry out elections on their territory,

– based on a valid proposal, announce municipal, i.e. town lists and compile a general municipal, i.e. city list,

– supervise the regularity of an election campaign for municipal, i.e. city elections, pursuant to this Act,

– compile and add up all voting results at all polling places on their territory and in case of county elections, submit them to the election commission of their county,

– announce the results of municipal, i.e. town elections and

– perform other tasks stipulated by this Act, as well.

 

Article 34

 

The city election commission of the City of Zagreb shall:

– take care that the elections of members of the City Assembly of the City of Zagreb are prepared and conducted as stipulated by law,

– appoint members of electoral committees for the election of members of the City Assembly of the City of Zagreb and county elections,

– determine the polling places,

– supervise the work of electoral committees,

– make all technical preparations in order to carry out elections on its territory,

– based on a valid proposal, announce city lists for the election of Members of the City Assembly of the City of Zagreb and compile a general list for the election of representative to the City Assembly of the City of Zagreb,

– supervise the regularity of an election campaign for the election of members of the City Assembly of the City of Zagreb, pursuant to this Act,

– compile and add up all voting results at all polling places on its territory,

– announce the election results for the members of the City Assembly of the City of Zagreb,

– perform other tasks stipulated by this Act, as well.

 

Article 35

 

A county election commission shall:

– take care that the elections of embers of the county assembly are prepared and conducted as stipulated by law,

– supervise the work of municipal and town election commissions,

– based on a valid proposal, announce county lists and compile the general list of county lists,

– supervise the regularity of an election campaign pursuant to this Act,

– announce the results of the election of members of county assembly,

– perform other tasks stipulated by this Act, as well.

 

Article 36

 

Electoral committees shall directly conduct the voting at polling places and shall ensure regularity and secrecy of voting. 

An electoral committee shall consist of the president and his/her deputy and two members and their deputies. A member and a deputy shall be appointed by the majority political party or coalition, and a member and deputy shall be appointed by opposition political parties or coalitions pursuant to the party composition of a representative body.

Political parties are obliged to appoint members of respective electoral committees and submit their names to competent election commissions within 8 days before the election day. In case they do not appoint them, i.e. in case their proposals are not received by competent election commissions, the competent election commissions shall independently appoint the members of the electoral committees.

Members of an electoral committee cannot be candidates on the list.

The president of an electoral committee and his/her deputy cannot be members of any political party, and as a rule, they should be lawyers. The president of an electoral committee and his/her deputy shall sign a statement that they are not members of any party under material and criminal liability before the competent election commission.

Electoral committees for all polling places shall be appointed by election commissions competent pursuant to the provisions of this Act, within five days before the election day at the latest.

 

V. CONDUCT OF ELECTIONS

 

Article 37

 

Voting for the election of members of the representative bodies of a unit shall be carried out at the polling places on the territory of a municipality, town and the City of Zagreb.

Competent election commissions shall announce which polling places have been designated, with an indication which voters have the right to vote at a certain place, eight days before the election day at the latest.

Competent election commissions shall designate polling places depending of the number of voters, i.e. geographical distance, in such a way so that the number of voters at a polling place ensures that all voters can vote within the period set for voting. Each polling place shall have its ordinal number.

For each polling place a special room shall be set for voting arranged and equipped in such a way  as to ensure the secrecy of voting, and in which only the state symbols can be prominent in accordance with the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia and the Act on the Coat of Arms, Flag and Anthem of the Republic of Croatia and the sash of the President of the Republic of Croatia (“Official Gazette”, no. 55/90), such as the coat of arms of the Republic of Croatia and the flag of the Republic of Croatia as well as the symbols of counties, towns, i.e. municipalities pursuant to their Statute.

All lists of candidates with clearly stated names of all candidates for the representative body for which elections are to be held have to be put on a prominent place at each polling place.

 

Article 38

 

The political parties and voters who have nominated candidates to the lists for the election of members of the representative bodies of a unit as well as non-governmental organizations and international organizations shall have the right to appoint observers who shall monitor elections during the whole election procedure.

An observer can be present at the voting and counting of votes, warn about the identified irregularities and request their removal, as well as make remarks for the record of an electoral body. An observer shall have the right to obtain a copy of the record of the electoral body that he/she has monitored.

By means of mandatory instructions, the State Election Commission shall give a more detailed description of the rights and obligations of observers and the way elections are to be monitored.

 

VI. VOTING AND DETERMINING VOTE RETURNS

 

Article 39

 

The voting shall be carried out in person using a ballot paper at a polling place.

Ballot papers are printed in a state printing office under direct supervision of the State Election Commission and are marked with a serial number.

 

Article 40

 

A ballot paper used for voting for a list of candidates shall contain the following:

– the title of a list,

– the first and last name of the first candidate on the list,

– the serial number.

The lists of candidates of a unit shall be stated on a ballot paper in the sequence set on the general list of the list of candidates in a unit.

The number of a list shall be put before the title of the list.

 

Article 41

 

A person can vote only for candidates stated on a ballot paper.

A ballot paper is filled out by encircling the number before the title of the list of candidates a voter shall vote for.

 

Article 42

 

A valid ballot paper is such a paper from which the list of candidates for which a voter has voted can be determined with certainty and without any doubt.

An invalid ballot paper is the following:

– a ballot paper, which has not been filled out,

– a ballot paper from which the title of the list of candidates for which a voter has voted cannot be determined with certainty and without any doubt,

– a ballot paper on which a voter has voted for two or more lists of candidates.

 

Article 43

 

The voting shall last from 7 am to 7 pm when the polling places shall close. Voters who happen to be in a queue at a polling place at 7 pm will be allowed to vote.

During the voting all members of an electoral committee and their deputies have to be present at a polling place.

 

Article 44

 

Nobody is allowed to come to a polling place armed.

The president of an electoral committee is obliged to take care of keeping peace and order during the voting and, if necessary, he/she is authorized to order a voter disrupting peace and order or making other persons´ voting harder or impossible to leave the polling place.

The president of an electoral committee can ask for police help. Police officers who have been asked to help can bring in weapons at a polling place, exceptionally to paragraph 1 of this Article.

 

Article 45

 

Before a voter starts to vote, the president of an electoral committee or a member authorized by him/her shall determine whether the voter who has come to vote has been registered to the electoral roll.

In case the president of an electoral committee or a member authorized by him/her determines that a voter has not been registered to the electoral roll, he/she will not allow him/her to vote, unless the voter proves that he/she has the right to vote at that polling place by means of a certificate of a competent authority.

The voter is obliged to submit the certificate referred to in paragraph 2 of this Article to the electoral committee and it shall be a component part of the election material.

 

Article 46

 

A voter who due to a physical disability or because he/she is illiterate cannot vote on his/her own, can come to a polling place with a literate person who will on his/her authorization and according to his/her instruction encircle the ordinal number before the title of a list.

A voter who due to a severe illness, bodily injury or general weakness cannot come to a polling place shall inform an electoral committee about that. The president of the electoral committee shall designate two members of the electoral committee or deputy members who will visit the voter to his place and enable him/her to vote, taking into account the secrecy of voting.

The president of the electoral committee is obliged to enter, name by name, the voting of voters with a physical disability, illiterate voters as well the voting outside the polling place, upon prior notification of voters, into the record of the work of the electoral committee.

 

Article 47

 

Upon the end of the voting the electoral committee shall first count all the unused ballot papers and put them in a special envelop that will be closed.  

After that, the electoral committee shall determine, according to the electoral roll, i.e. the excerpt from the electoral roll and based on the record, the total number of the voters who have voted, start opening the polling box and counting votes.

In case when counting votes at a polling place it is determined that the number of votes according to the electoral roll is higher than the number of votes according to ballot papers, the voting results according to ballot papers are valid.

In case when counting votes it is determined that a smaller number of voters have voted than the number of the votes in a polling box, the electoral committee shall be dissolved and a new one appointed, and the voting at that polling place shall be repeated after 15 days. In case the voting has to be repeated, the returns at that polling place shall be determined within 24 hours from the repeated voting.

 

Article 48

 

When an electoral committee determines the voting results at a polling place, the following shall enter into the record of its work:

– the number of voters according to the electoral roll, i.e. the excerpt from the electoral roll,

– the number of voters who have gone to the polls according to the electoral roll, and how many with the certificate,

– the total number of voters,

– the total number of votes given to each list of candidates, and

– the number of invalid ballot papers.

All other facts relevant to the voting shall also enter into the record of the work of an electoral committee.

Every member of an electoral committee, as well as his/her deputy can enter their remarks into the record.

The record shall be signed by all members of an electoral committee.

 

Article 49

 

The record of the work and all other election materials shall be submitted by an electoral committee to the election commission of a municipality, town, within 12 hours from the closure of polling places at the latest.

 

Article 50

 

An election commission shall determine the voting results at the polling places on its territory within 24 hours from the closure of the polling places at the latest.

When electing members of a county assembly, the election commission of a municipality, i.e. town shall submit the voting results on its territory, together with the record of the work to a competent county election commission, using the method and within a period set by the county election commission.

 

Article 51

 

The electoral commission of a municipality, town, i.e. the City of Zagreb shall take the record on its work noting the following:

– the number of voters registered to the electoral roll, i.e. excerpt from the electoral roll on its territory,

– the number of voters who have voted and the number of invalid ballot papers,

– the number of votes given to each list of candidates of a unit on its territory.

Every member and deputy member of the election commission of a municipality, town, i.e. the City of Zagreb can enter remarks into the record. The record shall be signed by all members of the election commission of a unit.

 

Article 52

 

The election returns for members of the representative body of a unit shall be determined by a competent election commission of the unit based on the voting results at all polling places in the unit.

 

Article 53  

When the election commission of a unit, i.e. the City of Zagreb determines the voting results for members of a representative body, it shall immediately announce:

– the number of voters registered to the election roll of a unit,

– the number of votes given to each respective list of candidates,

– the number of invalid ballot papers,

– the number of seats in the representative body of a unit received by each list of candidates, and

– the first and last name of the candidates from each list of candidates elected as members of the representative body of the unit.

 

VII. ELECTION EXPENSES

 

Article 54

 

The assets required for regular and early elections of members of a representative body shall be ensured in the budget of the unit.

The election commission of a unit shall dispose of the assets required for the election in a unit. The election committee is authorized to determine the way these assets shall be used, supervise their allocation and use and grant the required assets to electoral committees.

 

VIII. PROTECTION OF ELECTORAL RIGHTS

 

Article 55

 

The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Croatia shall monitor the constitutionality and regularity of the election for members of the representative bodies of the units and resolve disputes pursuant to the provisions of this Act.

 

Article 56

 

Political parties, associations of national minorities, candidates, a minimum of 100 voters or 5% of the electorate in an electoral constituency in which elections are to be held shall have the right to file a complaint to the competent election commission.

In order to protect the electoral right, political parties, associations of national minorities, candidates, a minimum of 100 voters or 5% of the electorate in an electoral constituency in which elections are to be held can file an appeal against the decision regarding the complaint to the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Croatia (election dispute).

In case a list of candidates was proposed by several political parties, a complaint shall be considered valid even if filed only by one political party.

Based on their Statutes, political parties shall determine who can be considered an authorized person to file a complaint, i.e. an authorized person to file an appeal.

A group of a minimum of 100 voters or at least 5% of the electorate of a unit in which elections are to be held is obliged to set a mutual representative authorized to file a complaint, i.e. an appeal.

The first candidates of independent list shall file a complaint, i.e. an appeal personally.

 

Article 57

 

Complaints about irregularities in the procedure of nomination and election of members of a municipal and town council shall be resolved by a county election commission.

Complaints about irregularities in the procedure of nomination and election of members of a county assembly and the City Assembly of the City of Zagreb shall be resolved by the State Election Commission.

 

Article 58

 

Complaints about irregularities in the procedure of nomination and election of members of the representative body of a unit shall be submitted to a competent election commission within 48 hours counting from the expiry of the day when the action about which a complaint has been filed was performed.

The competent election commission is obliged to make a decision on the complaint within 48 hours from the day when the complaint was submitted, i.e. from the day when election materials about which a complaint was filed were submitted to it.

 

Article 59

In case the competent election commission, while resolving the complaint, determines that there have been irregularities that can significantly influence the election returns, the actions in the process shall be cancelled and these actions shall have to be repeated within a period that has to ensure that the elections are held on the days for which they were called.

In case there is no possibility of repeating the cancelled actions referred to in the previous paragraph or in case these irregularities apply to the voting procedure, and they have significantly affected the election returns, the competent election commission shall declare the election void and set a period within which the repeated election shall be held.

 

Article 60

 

The person lodging the complaint, who is not satisfied with such a decision, shall have the right to file an appeal against the decision of the competent election commission to the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Croatia.

The appeal referred to in the previous paragraph shall be filed to the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Croatia within 48 hours from the day the disputed decision was received.

The complaint shall be submitted through the competent election commission.

The Constitutional Court shall make a decision on the appeal within 48 hours from the receipt of the complaint.

 

Article 61 (2.4.)

 

The complaint and appeal in the procedure of the protection of electoral rights shall not postpone the performance of election actions pursuant to this Act.

 

Article 62

 

No fees shall be paid for depositions and decisions in the procedure pursuant to the provisions of this Act.

 

IX. ELECTION OF MEMBERS OF COUNCILS OF NATIONAL MINORITIES IN SELF-GOVERNMENT UNITS

 

Article 63

 

Representatives of the councils of national minorities elected in the units pursuant to the provisions of the Constitutional Act on the Rights of National Minorities shall be elected in such a way so that the territory of the whole unit forms one electoral constituency.

All validly nominated candidates shall be stated on the electoral list according to the alphabetical order of their last names.

The candidates who have won the highest number of votes of the voter who went to the polls, depending on the number of members of the council of a national minority that is to be elected in a certain unit, shall be elected as members of the council of a national minority.

The elected representative to the council of a national minority whose term of office ends before its regular expiration shall be replaced by the first next non-elected candidate with the highest number of votes won.

 

Article 64

 

Elections for the councils of national minorities shall be called by the Government of the Republic of Croatia by means of a special decision setting the exact date of the election.

 

Article 65

 

The provisions of this Act governing the election of members of the representative bodies of the units shall apply to all other issues regarding the election of members of the councils of national minorities.

Accordingly, the provisions of this title of the Act shall also apply to the election of representatives of national minorities in the units in which national minorities have the right to elect representatives pursuant to the provisions of the Constitutional Act on the Rights of National Minorities.

 

X. PENALTY CLAUSES

 

Article 66

 

A fine in the amount of 3,000.00 kuna will be given for an offence to:

– a natural person for the violation of  the time of reflection (Article 24).

A fine in the amount of from 10,000.00 to 30,000.00 kuna will be given for an offence to:

– a candidate in the elections for the violation of the time of reflection (Article 24).

A fine in the amount of from 100,000.00 to 500,000.00 kuna will be given for an offence to:

– a legal person for the violation of  the time of reflection (Article 24).

A fine in the amount of from 10,000.00 to 30,000.00 kuna will be given for an offence to:

– a responsible person in a legal entity for the violation of the time of reflection (Article 24).

 

XI. TRANSITIONAL AND FINAL PROVISIONS

 

Article 67

 

The first, constitutive session of the representative bodies of the units shall be convened within 30 days from the day of the announcement of the election results.   

The constitutive sessions of municipal and town councils shall be convened by the head of the central state administration body, competent for matters of local and regional self-government or by a person authorized by him/her.

The constitutive session of county assemblies and the City Assembly of the City of Zagreb shall be convened by the Government of the Republic of Croatia.

In case the constitutive session is not held within the scheduled deadline, the authorized convener shall immediately convene a new constitutive session, which should be held within 15 days.

The constitutive session of a representative body shall, until the election of the president, be chaired by the eldest member.

 

Article 68

 

By announcement of the Decision of the Government of the Republic of Croatia, on calling the elections for members of representative bodies of local and regional self-government units in 2001, passed pursuant to the Act on the Election of Members of Representative Bodies of Local and Regional Self-Government Units (Official Gazette 33/01), the term of office of members of the representative bodies of local and regional self-government, elected in the elections held on 13 April 1997 and later on, shall cease.

 

Article 69

 

The assets for the conduct of the first elections for members of representative bodies of the newly formed local and regional self-government units, which do not have their own budgets, shall be provided from the State Budget of the Republic of Croatia.

 

Article 69

 

In the by-elections for the representative bodies of the units of local and regional self-government units, voters can vote only for those lists on which candidates for the representatives of national minorities have been nominated.

 

Article 70

 

The representative body of the unit in which members of national minorities have the right on their representatives pursuant to the provisions of the Constitutional Act on the Rights of National Minorities (Official Gazette 155/02) is obliged to harmonize the statute within 15 days from  the day of the entry into force of the Act on the Amendments to the Act on the Election of Members of the Representative Bodies of Local and Regional Self-Government Units (Official Gazette 40/05), and immediately inform a competent election commission about that.

 

Article 71

 

In case the representative bodies do not harmonize their statutes pursuant to the provisions of the Act on the Amendments to the Act on the Election of Members of the Representative Bodies of Local and Regional Self-Government Units  (Official Gazette 40/05), the number of members, which was set before its increase in order to achieve representation of national minorities, shall be elected to the representative bodies in which the number of members was changed by means of the Statute or a statutory decision in order to establish the rights of the members of national minorities to have their representatives in the representative bodies.

 

Article 72

 

By the announcement of the Decision of the Government of the Republic of Croatia on calling the elections for the members of representative bodies of local and regional self-government units, the term of office of all members of representative bodies of local and regional self-government elected in regular, early and by-elections shall cease.

 

Article 73

 

The representative bodies with an ongoing term of office on the day of the entry into force of the Act on the Amendments to the Act on the Election of Members of the Representative Bodies of Local and Regional Self-Government Units (Official Gazette 45/03), and in which one or several national minorities, i.e. members of the Croatian people have the right to an adequate number of their representatives, shall determine the number of the members of minority representatives, i.e. representatives of the Croatian people pursuant to the provisions of the Act on the Amendments to the Act on the Election of Members of the Representative Bodies of Local and Regional Self-Government Units (Official Gazette 45/03) by means of a statutory decision in the procedure stipulated by general provisions on passing the act of a representative body within 30 days after the day this Act enters into force.

 

Article 74

 

In the units in which the representative body was dissolved on the day of the entry into force of the Act on the Amendments to the Act on the Election of Members of the Representative Bodies of Local and Regional Self-Government Units (Official Gazette 45/03), as well as in the units in which the representative body was dissolved due the incompatibility of their statutes with the provisions of this Act, the number of members of a representative body from among the members of national minorities shall be determined by the commissioner of the Government of the Republic of Croatia pursuant to the provisions of the Constitutional Act on the Rights of National Minorities and this Act.

 

Article 75

 

By coming into effect of the Act on the Election of Members of Representative Bodies of Local and Regional Self-Government Units (Official Gazette 33/01), the Act on the Election of Members of the Representative Bodies of the Units of Local Self-Government and Local and Regional Administration and Self-Government (Official Gazette 90/92, 69/95, 59/96, 63/96 and 64/00) and the Act on Constituencies for the Election of Members of Representative Bodies of the Units of Local Self-Government and Local Administration and Self-Government (Official Gazette 14/97, 20/97, 22/97, 24/97, 32/97, 37/97, 75/99, 91/99, 35/00 and 44/00).