ZAGREB, July 5 (Xinhua) -- The ruling central-right Croatian Democratic Union(HDZ), led by Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic, streaked ahead in the parliamentary elections Sunday with 61 seats secured, according to the exit polls.
The center-left Restart Coalition won 44 mandates, while the right-wing Homeland Movement came third with 16 seats.
Croatian voters started casting their ballots in parliamentary elections at 7 a.m. local time (0500 GMT) on Sunday.
The elections are seen as the most challenging in the country's history as the number of new COVID-19 cases hit a record high this week after lockdown measures eased and borders reopened. Voters are advised to attend poll stations with masks and bring their own pencils.
Over 3.8 million eligible voters will elect 151 members of parliament (MPs) by secret ballot to four-year terms.