Amid a massive migrant surge and deep economic woes, Croatia’s ruling center-left coalition faces a strong challenge from a conservative opposition in the Balkan country’s first parliamentary election since joining the European Union in 2013. Neither the conservatives, led by former intelligence chief Tomislav Karamarko, nor the Social Democrats, led by incumbent Prime Minister
Zoran Milanovic, are expected to win an outright majority in Sunday’s vote. The forming of the new government will depend on several small parties that are expected to enter the 151-seat parliament. The outcome of the vote could disrupt the flow of migrants crossing the small country if the conservatives return to power and carry out pledges to implement tough measures against the surge. Since September, Croatia has seen an influx of over 330,000 people fleeing war and poverty and seeking a better life in wealthier EU states such as Germany.