Bandić’s Urban Development Plan for Zagreb Rejected

By 11 February 2020

ZAGREB, February 11, 2020 - Zagreb City Assembly deputies on Tuesday rejected by a majority vote Mayor Milan Bandić's draft amendments to the city's urban development plan (GUP) after they previously rejected by a majority vote 11 amendments to GUP put forward by the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ).

Of 49 deputies, 18 voted for the amended GUP and 31 voted against.

Deputies previously voted on individual amendments and rejected them all, with 42 votes against and seven in favour.

Bandić's draft amendments to GUP were rejected after deputies from his party first voted against amendments put forward by Bandić's coalition partner, the HDZ, which prompted the HDZ to vote against Bandić's amendments. After this, opposition deputies, who had proposed a referendum on amendments to GUP, withdrew that item from the agenda of the city assembly session.

Zagreb City Assembly Vice President, Rajko Ostojić of the Social Democratic Party said on Tuesday that the Assembly's failure to adopt the General Urban Plan (GUP) could have several effects on the coalition between the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) and Zagreb Mayor Milan Bandić, and one could be a snap parliamentary election.

The SDP official Ostojić said after that that he believed that the failure to adopt the General Urban Plan (GUP) was a victory by residents and experts and not a victory of any particular party or political platform. "We voted for what we were asked to do," said Ostojić, thanking citizens, architects, urban planners and everyone who helped in today's decision being made.

Asked whether the fact that HDZ's councillors did not support the amendments to Zagreb's GUP also meant the beginning of the end of the coalition between Zagreb Mayor Milan Bandić and HDZ at the national level, Ostojić said that everything was possible.

"We may go to a snap parliamentary election. All options are open. Maybe this is a way to avoid an intra-party election in HDZ. Perhaps the city branch of HDZ refused to obey the party's leader Andrej Plenković," Ostojić said and added that several scenarios could unfold.

The Plenković cabinet started its four-year term in late 2016 and the next parliamentary election is supposed to be held in the autumn.

Left Bloc whip Tomislav Tomašević, underscored that the "game of nerves," was over.

"The opposition was fairly disciplined and each time the count was taken we had a sufficient number to bring down the GUP. There was obviously too much at stake for the HDZ considering the pressure by experts, 20,000 citizens who attended the protest rally and public pressure, and they could not swallow that," said Tomašević.

The Croatian parliament on Tuesday made changes to its weekly agenda to postpone the vote planned for Friday noon. The vote has been postponed for next week.

The Croatian parliament media service said the vote had been postponed because a significant number of members of parliament would be absent on Friday due to official travel.

They pointed out that the changes had been made before the vote on Zagreb's General Urban Plan (GUP) and that it was not connected with the situation in the ruling coalition.

There are ten MPs in the Club of Bandić's Labour and Solidarity Party in the national 151-seat legislature.

More Zagreb news can be found in the Politics section.