Slovenian minority elects its representatives in Croatia
Zagreb, 9 May - The Slovenian minority in Croatia has elected its representatives in local communities amidst very low turnout. There will be Slovenian minority councils in nine local governments and Slovenian representatives in eight, Croatian Electoral Commission data shows.
Under Croatian law, a minority has the right to a minority council in a local community if it accounts for 1.5% of the population of the local self-governing community or if at least 200 of its members live there.
If there are under 100 members of a minority in a local self-governing community, the minority has the right to elect one representative.
Both the minority councils and the representatives have an advisory role in the community. For the Slovenian minority, most of the efforts are directed at having Slovenian classes in schools and kindergartens.
Slovenians will have minority councils in the municipalities Zagreb, Rijeka, Čabar, Pula, Umag, Matulji and Cestica, and in the counties Primorje-Gorski Kotar and Istria.
In Zadar, Samobor and Split, and the counties Karlovac, Varaždin, Zadar, Osijek-Baranja, Šibenik-Knin and Split-Dalmatia they will have a representative.
The Croatian Constitution recognises 22 minorities and 235,000 members thereof elected their representatives this Sunday.
In the last census 7,729 residents of Croatia declared themselves to be Slovenian, but only 348 turned out to vote, almost a quarter less than four years ago.
As a result of the census the minority lost its eligibility to elect minority councils or representatives in a number of counties or cities, but even in some communities where it retained eligibility there were no candidates.