Europe

Croatian president opens formal talks to form government

Croatia's president has launched formal consultations with political parties in a step toward forming a new government after a snap election earlier this month.

Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic isn't expected to appoint a prime minister designate immediately after Wednesday's meetings, which are held amid ongoing post-election negotiations between parties.

The Sept. 11 vote produced no clear winner and it could take several more weeks to form a government.

The conservative Croatian Democratic Union, or HDZ, won 61 seats in the 151-member parliament and is widely expected to lead the future government.

The party has opened talks with third-placed Most group which got 13 seats and also hopes to win backing from ethnic minorities.

Croatia's previous, right-leaning government collapsed in June triggering political turmoil in the European Union's newest member state.