Wednesday, 27 July 2022

Split Snap Polls Campaign Costs: HDZ Spends HRK 460K, We Can! 241k, Centre 81k

ZAGREB, 27 July 2022 - The financial reports on the costs of the run-up to Split's early election show that the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) spent HRK 460,000, the Centre, the winner of the elections, spent HRK 81,000, while, for instance, the We Can! party spent HRK 241,000 but won none of the 31 seats in the city council.

All the 11 slates that ran in the recent snap election were obliged to submit reports on electioneering costs until Tuesday midnight.

The failure to lodge such a report in a timely manner carries a fine ranging from HRK 2,000 to 20,000.

The HDZ party disbursed HRK 460,000 for the costs and received HRK 370,000, so its financial sheet ended in the red by HRK 90,000. The party secured eight seats in the snap election, a seat fewer than before the polls.

The Centre party of Mayor Ivica Puljak reported costs in the amount of HRK 81,000 and receipts in the amount of HRK 68,000. As a result, its financial sheet was also in the red, by HRK 13,000. 

The Centre now has 15 seats in the city council, only one seat short of the absolute majority in the council.

The HGS party, led by former mayor Željko Kerum, finished the election race with a deficit of HRK 44,000 as its electioneering costs amounted to HRK 75,000 and its receipts HRK 31,000. It has won two seats in the city council, two fewer than in the previous election.

Bridge now also has two deputies, one fewer than in the council before the snap election. This party's electioneering costs totalled HRK 40,447 and it reported receipts of the same value.

The Homeland Party (DP) has entered the Split City Council for the first time. It now has two seats. It reported that its campaigning costs and receipts were the same, HRK 42,141 each.

The Social Democratic Party (SDP) now has two councillors in the City Council, one fewer than before. It received HRK 36,000 for electioneering costs and spent HRK 55,000, ending the election in the red (-HRK 19,000).

The We Can! party spent HRK 241,130 on the campaigning in the run-up to the early election, and it reported having ensured the same amount to cover the cost. The party did not manage to win any seat in the new council.

The remaining three slates did not manage to enter the council either.

(€1 = HRK 7.51)

For more, check out our politics section.

Saturday, 25 June 2022

Split Is Holding Snap Mayoral and Local Polls on Sunday

ZAGREB, 25 June 2022 - Early elections for the mayor and the city council will be held in Split on Sunday, slightly more than 12 months after the ordinary local elections which were held throughout Croatia in May 2022.

The snap polls in the second biggest Croatian city were called after Mayor Ivica Puljak and his two deputies, who were elected in 2022, tendered resignation on 8 April following a scandal involving Deputy Mayor Bojan Ivošević who threatened a local reporter and was subsequently indicted for intimidation. The Office of the State Prosecutor (DORH) in Spit issued the indictment on 23 March.

Upon their resignation, also members of the 31-seat City Council stepped down, paving the way for an early election for the town's legislative council.

On Sunday, the nine mayoral candidates will vie for the position: Ivica Puljak of the Centre party, Zoran Đogaš supported by the HDZ and the HSS parties, a former mayor Željko Kerum supported by his HGS party, Josip Markotić of the Bridge party, SDP representative Davor Matijević, an independent Ante Franić, Kristina Vidan of the Smart (Pametno) party, Tamara Visković of the We Can and the New Left parties and Aris Zlodre of the Homeland Movement.

Since Croatia gained independence, Puljak has been for the shortest period in the mayoral position of this Adriatic city, only ten months.

The election of the mayor in the first round of the polls requires the support of 50% plus one ballot. If none of the candidates manages to pass this threshold, the mayoral runoff will take place between the first two vote-getters in two weeks' time.

Ten slates have applied for the polls for the city assembly.

Friday, 8 April 2022

Split Mayor and His Deputies Resign

ZAGREB, 8 April (2022) - Split Mayor Ivica Puljak and his deputies Bojan Ivošević and Antonio Kuzmanić formally tendered their resignations on Friday, thus leaving their offices.

Puljak, Ivošević and Kuzmanić resigned after local prosecutorial authorities indicted Ivošević for threatening an editor at the Split-based Slobodna Dalmacija daily, Nikolina Lulić.

Puljak had come under harsh criticism from other politicians and media for not distancing himself from Ivošević even after he was indicted.

Instead, he took many by surprise by opting to stand by his first deputy and go with him and his second deputy, Antonio Kuzmanić, to a snap election.

"To live for Split and not off Split is our motto and I hope we will not encounter political obstructions after citizens give us their votes again," Puljak told reporters after he and his deputies tendered their resignations.

The mayor had earlier announced that Kuzmanić would continue running the city until the early election, but the Justice and Public Administration Ministry said that it would appoint a commissioner to run the city, meaning that Kuzmanić would not be able to stay in office.

Puljak has now decided to put an end to a possible legal tangle with Kuzmanić resigning together with him and Ivošević.

"With Mr Kuzmanić resigning we have shown that we are putting the city's interests first, we are not interested in legal manoeuvering," Puljak said.

 For more, check out our politics section.

Friday, 1 April 2022

Official Says HDZ Councillors to Resign if Other Deputy Split Mayor Resigns as Well

ZAGREB, 1 April (2022) - Vice Mihanović, leader of the HDZ party in Split, said on Thursday his party's nine deputies in the Split City Council would resign if Deputy Mayor Antonio Kuzmanić, who Mayor Ivica Puljak, confirming his own resignation earlier in the day, said would run the city as commissioner until a snap election, did so.

"The condition for HDZ councillors to resign is for the other deputy mayor, Antonio Kuzmanić, to resign as well," Mihanović, whose party is in the opposition in the Split City Council, told Hina.

Confirming his own resignation, as well as the resignation of his first deputy Bojan Ivošević earlier on Thursday, Mayor Puljak said his second deputy Kuzmanić would act as the commissioner for the city until the early elections.

Mihanović does not agree with this and believes Puljak wants to continue running the city through his deputy after resigning and that owing to Kuzmanić, he "will finance his campaign with public money."

He now insists that joint elections for the City Council and for the mayor, which is what Puljak advocates, are possible only if Puljak's entire team resigns.

Commenting on the situation on Wednesday, when it was announced that the mayor and his first deputy would step down, Mihanović said the announced resignations and new elections were the only solution.

"If Puljak and Ivošević resign, then the nine HDZ councillors in the City Council will also resign and contribute to its dissolution as the new elections for the City Council and for the mayor are the only solution for Split," Mihanović said on Wednesday.

Mayor: Kuzmanić to be in charge of technical tasks, won't participate in campaign

Mayor Puljak and his first deputy Bojan Ivošević confirmed on Thursday they were stepping down and intended to run in a snap election.

This happened after the parties in the City Council supporting Puljak earlier this week suspended their cooperation with him, insisting that Ivošević be removed from office after an indictment against him was issued for threatening a reporter of the Split-based regional Slobodna Dalmacija daily.

Refusing to replace his deputy, Puljak on Thursday said they would both resign and go to a snap election.

Puljak said his deputy did not threaten the reporter's life, as confirmed by the reporter herself, that his communication was indeed inappropriate and inadequate but that one did not go to jail for that.

The Split mayor said Ivošević was not a burden on the city government but rather carried and dealt with the burden of the chaos left behind by the former city administrations.

Puljak called on all local political stakeholders to help dissolve the City Council as soon as possible so that new elections could be held, recalling that they had already shown that they wanted it to be dissolved.

"We will propose holding a session of the City Council as early as next week at which a decision would be made on holding district elections by the end of June, and then the government has enough time to make a decision on holding all elections in Split - for the City Council, the mayor and for districts, at once, to minimise the cost," Puljak said.

He stressed that he, Ivošević and his second deputy Antonio Kuzmanić, to act as commissioner for the city until the elections, would run in the elections as a team.

Puljak dismissed objections that he could use Kuzmanić to continue implementing his policy, noting that Kuzmanić would mostly be in charge of the most necessary technical tasks and would not participate in the election campaign.

For more, check out our politics section.