Tuesday, 18 May 2021

Tomislav Tomašević Pledges Reorganisation of Zagreb City Administration

ZAGREB, 18 May, 2021 - The Green-Left Coalition's candidate for the mayor of Zagreb, Tomislav Tomašević, said on Tuesday that after the 30 May runoff, which he expects to win, the coalition would embark on a reorganisation of the city administration and ask the heads of its 27 departments to offer their resignation.

"If we want a change, it is our right to ask the city ministers, as well as directors of city-owned companies... to offer their resignation," Tomašević said at a news conference.

He noted that he would ask current office-holders to submit reports and evaluate their work, while new department heads would be chosen in public procedures and the number of city departments would be reduced due to reorganisation.

Tomašević said that he would not make any rash moves and would hold meetings with all department heads and ask them to report on what had been done so far.

"The only criterion will be one's performance, and I have been familiar with that, having been a city councillor for the past four years," he said.

Citizens urged to apply

He called on citizens who believe they have the necessary qualifications to apply once vacancies are advertised, noting that they would be expected to implement the political goals of the Green-Left Coalition's platform.

Tomašević also commented on the statement by his rival Miroslav Škoro of the Homeland Movement, who on election day, 16 May, referred to him and his coalition as the far left.

"That kind of tactic does not and will not work in Zagreb, as shown by the election outcome," Tomašević said, noting that he did not intend to demonise his political rivals.

He noted that in the first round of the election Škoro had led a smear campaign.

This was proved by the Croatian Regulatory Authority for Network Industries (HAKOM) as it has turned out that Škoro had hired an agency that phoned voters and vilified his rivals, Tomašević said, noting that he would continue a positive election campaign.

He called on voters to give him the largest possible support in the runoff, adding that every vote would count as it would enhance the legitimacy of the planned changes.

The coalition of the We Can! platform and its partners won 23 of the 47 seats in the Zagreb City Assembly, and Tomašević said that they would discuss forming the majority, based on programme cooperation, with the Social Democratic Party (SDP) but not before the runoff.

He noted that he had already discussed this with the SDP's mayoral candidate, Joško Klisović, and that he did not expect any problems with the formation of a stable majority.

Tomašević said that he expected to be supported in the runoff by candidates from the centre to the left, which Klisović already did after the first round of the election, calling on SDP voters to support Tomašević in the 30 May runoff.

Danijela Dolenec, a candidate for Tomašević's deputy, said that the results of elections for local government units, showing that their slate was the strongest in 16 of the 17 of Zagreb's districts, proved that citizens had recognised that their coalition's relationship with citizens was based on partnership.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Tuesday, 18 May 2021

Police Investigating Death Threat Against Karlovac Mayoral Candidate

ZAGREB, 18 May, 2021 - Davor Petračić, an independent candidate for the mayor of Karlovac backed by the Social Democratic Party (SDP), on Tuesday reported to the police having received a death threat. He has refused police protection, but hopes the perpetrator will be identified soon.

Petračić found a letter in his post box containing a bullet and a message saying "the real one comes through the barrel."

"I don't have anything against anyone, I defended this city in the war and will try to defend it once again," Petračić said, adding that he hoped the police would find the perpetrator.

Police spokeswoman Andreja Lenart confirmed to Hina that police had received Petračić's report and were investigating.

The incident was condemned by Petračić's political rival in the 30 May runoff, current mayor Damir Mandić of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), as well as by the county branches of the SDP, HDZ, Homeland Movement and Croatian Party of Rights (HSP).

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.


Tuesday, 18 May 2021

Austrian MEP Backs Tomislav Tomašević, Says Green Policies Are Neither Left Nor Right

ZAGREB, 18 May, 2021 - Thomas Waitz, a European Green Party co-chair, has said in an interview for Hina that green policies are neither left nor right but rather focused on dealing with the consequences of the human beings' actions on the climate and environment.

Waitz, an Austrian member of the European Parliament, visited Croatia in early May at the invitation of the leader of the Croatian OraH party, Zorislav Antun Petrović, to support the Green-Left Coalition's candidates in the campaign in the run-up to the local elections which Croatia held on 16 May.

On Monday, this Austrian MEP congratulated Tomislav Tomašević of the Green-Left coalition for a convincing victory in the local polls in the City of Zagreb. Tomašević  mustered 45% of the vote in the first round of the elections for the mayor of the Croatian capital city and will face off Miroslav Škoro of the Homeland Movement (12% of the vote) in the runoff set for 30 May. The coalition led by Tomašević won the elections for the city assembly and was short of one seat for an absolute majority.

On Monday, Waitz tweeted: "Congratulations to the Green-Left coalition for their great result in the local elections in Zagreb yesterday."

"The Green-Left coalition won 23/47 seats in the City Assembly! Zagreb deserves a citizen-led & democratic movement to lead the recovery efforts," the Austrian politician added.

The European Green part also stated that its partners in Croatia were focused on the green post-quake recovery and that they promised to put an end to clientelism and poor management of the city.

Waitz, whose Greens Party is a junior partner in the ruling coalition led by Chancellor Sebastian Kurz in Austria, says in the interview which Hina published on Tuesday that the preservation of the planet could be considered generally a conservative policy as we would like to protect the planet  for the future generations.

EU expects Croatia to invest in rail lines

Commenting on possible demands stemming from the European Green Deal for Croatia, Waitz recalled that the Council of the EU and the European Parliament had reached provisional agreement in April on the climate legislature whereby the EU set an intermediate target of reducing net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels. 

The reduction of greenhouse gas emissions implies the reduction of dependence on fossil fuels. Therefore Waitz recommends that Croatia should invest more in the rail network.

The European Union expects Croatia to implement such projects. Please invest in rail lines to Ljubljana, Maribor, Graz, Budapest and Belgrade, the Austrian MEP said.

He recalled that the EU policy "From Farm to Fork" envisages the reduction of the use of pesticides by 50% until 2030 and in this context he urged Croatia to  invest in the education and training of young farmers about sustainable farming.

He also commented that the mass tourism could be sustainable and in this context advocated providing  hotels and establishments catering for tourists with locally produced food..

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Monday, 17 May 2021

Local Elections Held in Calm and Democratic Atmosphere, Says DIP Head

May 17, 2021 - State Electoral Commission (DIP) head Đuro Sessa on Monday said that he was pleased with the way Sunday's local elections were held for the legislatures and heads of the 576 various government units, underscoring that the local polls were held in a calm and democratic atmosphere.

"We can be satisfied that the elections passed calmly, in an orderly manner, and a democratic atmosphere," Sessa told a press conference.

He said that he was especially pleased with how the elections had proceeded in the earthquake-hit Sisak-Moslavina County. 

Run-off for 14 county prefects, Zagreb mayor

Sessa announced that the second round of the election is scheduled for 30 May, when voters will elect county prefects in 14 counties, the new mayor of Zagreb, and 55 mayors in cities and 87 municipalities.

There will be two candidates on each ballot slip, with the candidate who won the most votes in the first round being listed first.

The candidate who wins the most votes in the runoff will be declared the winner, he underscored. Should the two candidates get the same number of votes, the election would have to be repeated in that constituency, he explained.

Elections will be repeated at 18 polling stations in the country on 23 May due to irregularities during Sunday's voting and at one polling station on 30 May due to technical problems at yesterday's election.

If necessary, the additional elections for some designated seats for ethnic minorities will be held in the autumn.

Sessa underscored that, on the most part, the elections were held in an orderly manner, and only some minor incidents were reported.

He confirmed that some breaches of the ban on electioneering had occurred mostly in social networks, which cannot be controlled, but they cannot be assessed as having affected the election outcome.

He added that it is up to the local electoral commission now to investigate breaches and whether legal proceedings are necessary.

Sessa underscored that any possible complaints related to the election could be submitted until 7 pm on Monday.

Deadlines for financial statements

DIP vice president Vesna Fabijančić-Križanić recalled that candidates whose election ended in the first round are obliged to submit their financial statements by midnight 16 June.

Participants in the second round of the election have until Saturday, 22 May, to submit interim financial statements of their costs, donations, and discounts for media advertising.

Their final financial statements are due by 29 June.

For more news about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Monday, 17 May 2021

Mayors of Four County Capitals Win Another Four-Year Term in First Local Election Round

17 May 2021 - The mayors of four county capitals secured another four-year term already in the first round local elections, while 11 incumbents will try to win another term in office in the 30 May runoff, according to data released by the Electoral Commission.

Zoran Gregurović of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) will remain the mayor of Krapina after receiving 59.56% of votes. The HDZ's Ivica Kirin will remain in the mayoral seat in Virovitica, capturing 51.53% of votes in the first round.

The Social Democratic Party's (SDP) Mišel Jakšić will continue as the mayor of Koprivnica after winning 59.17% of votes on Sunday.

Bjelovar is also the town that will be led over the next four years by the incumbent mayor, Dario Hrebak of the Croatian Social Liberal Party (HSLS), who took a convincing 66.86% of votes in the first round.

In Velika Gorica, the largest town in Zagreb County, the incumbent Krešimir Ačkar, backed by the HDZ-led coalition, received 50.1% of votes and will stay in office for another four years.

The HDZ will also have a mayor in Požega, where Željko Glavić won 51.13% of votes.

11 incumbent mayors seek another term in a runoff

In Vukovar, the present mayor Ivan Peneva (Independent List) won 43.8% of votes and will face the HDZ's Nikola Mažar, who received 24.81% in the 30 May runoff.

The incumbent HDZ mayor of Šibenik, Željko Burić (46.63%), will go to the runoff with the SDP's Tonči Restović (18.94%), as will the HDZ's mayor of Zadar, Branko Dukić (38.47%), and the SDP's Marko Vučetić (26.32%). 

Two weeks from now, Dubrovnik will choose its mayor between the HDZ's incumbent Mate Franković (36.87%) and his challenger Pero Vićan of the Dubrovnik Democratic Assembly (DDS) who won 13.54% of votes in the first round.

The HDZ's Damir Mandić (47.79%) will seek another term as mayor of Karlovac in a faceoff with the SDP's Davor Petračić (33.35%), and in Sisak, the incumbent Kristina Ikić Baniček of the SDP (39.55%) will compete against the HDZ's Željka Josić (33.61%).

For more news about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Monday, 17 May 2021

Tomislav Tomašević: We'll Win in Two Weeks With Free Hand to Effect Change

17 May 2021 - Zagreb mayoral candidate Tomislav Tomašević of the We Can! and Zagreb Is Ours! the coalition, which has won 45% of the vote in today's local elections, said on Sunday night they would win with a free hand in the runoff so that they could effect changes.

"We'll win in two weeks with heads held high and be able to look everyone in the eye. We'll win in two weeks without having sold our souls and without owing anyone so that we can have a free hand to carry out changes so that this city can be a better place to live for all," he said.

Tomašević said that by giving him the largest support, the people of Zagreb said that Zagreb did not belong to an interest group but to all who live in it. "And that's why Zagreb is ours!"

He said that in Zagreb, the coalition had made one and a half of the two steps necessary to rid the city of the octopus of corruption and that "only half a step more is necessary" to change the model of governance.

He said there was no time to relax and that in the next two weeks of campaigning before the runoff, the coalition would lead a positive campaign and "again give our all."

"We'll continue to lead a positive campaign and focus on the problems of this city and solutions to those problems. We won't resort to dirty tricks like some of our rivals," Tomašević said.

For more news about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Monday, 17 May 2021

Six Counties Get Prefects in The First Round, 14 to Have Runoffs

17 May 2021 - Preliminary results released by the State Election Commission (DIP) after Sunday's local elections show that six counties elected their prefects in the first round of voting. Those candidates won more than 50% of the ballot.

Of those six prefects, four are Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) representatives: Antonija Jozić of Požega-Slavona, Igor Andrilović of Virovitica-Podravina County, Ivan Anušić of Osijek-Baranja County, and Danijel Marušić of Slavonski-Brod Posavina County.

Social Democrat (SDP) official Željko Kolar was reelected prefect of Krapina-Zagorje County, and Matija Posavec, an independent candidate, was re-elected as the head of Međimurje County.

In the other 14 counties, the first two vote-getters will participate in the runoffs on 30 May.

For more news about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Sunday, 16 May 2021

Rijeka: SDP-led Coalition Wins 11 Seats in City Council - Exit Polls

ZAGREB, 16 May, 2021 - The coalition led by the Social Democratic Party (SDP) won 11 of 31 seats in the Rijeka City Council, or 29.40% of the vote, in local elections on Sunday, exit polls showed.

The Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) received 16.76% (6 seats), followed by the Independent Slate of Davor Štimac on 10.98% (4 seats), the Bridge party on 10.002% (3 seats), the We Can!-New Left coalition on 8.001% (3 seats), the PGS-Labour coalition on 7.95% (2 seats) and the Youth Action-Kvarner Union-Alternativa coalition on 6.61% (2 seats).

For more news about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Sunday, 16 May 2021

Osijek: HDZ Wins 15 Seats in 31-seat Council - Exit Polls

ZAGREB, 16 May 2021 - According to the latest exit polls, the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) slate won 42.49% of the vote in Osijek in Sunday's local election, that is 15 seats in the 31-seat council of that biggest eastern Croatian city.

The coalition of the Homeland Movement (DP) and the Bridge party follows with 18.76% of the vote and six seats in the council.

The Social Democratic Party (SDP) ranked third with 15.40% of the vote, which means it could have five seats in the local legislature.

The Snaga SiB party won 6.72% of the vote, thus securing two seats. The We Can party can also count on two councilors, winning 6.04% of the vote.

The HNS, HSS and Reformists coalition would have one seat after this coalition won 5.24% of the vote, according to the exit polls.

For more news about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Sunday, 16 May 2021

Split: HDZ and Centre Each Win Eight Seats in City Council - Exit Polls

ZAGREB, 16 May 2021 - The Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ)  won eight seats or 23.53% of votes in Sunday's local elections for the 31-seat Split City Council, while the Centre party also won eight seats, trailing behind on 22.23%, exit polls showed.

The Croatian Civic Party received 13.39% (5 seats), followed by the Social Democratic Party (SDP) on 8.86% (3 seats), the Green-Left Coalition on 8.84% (3 seats), Bridge on 8.12% (3 seats), and the independent list of Tomislav Mamić on 5.05% (1 seat). 

For more news about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

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