Croatia’s Ruling Party Eyes Big Win in Local Polls, but not Zagreb

While the Right may claim victory in Sunday’s local elections in Croatia, the capital is tilting to the Left.
Croatia’s ruling conservatives look set to win big in local elections on Sunday, but a relatively new party on the left – ‘Mozemo!’, or ‘We can!’ – may grab the headlines if their leader, Tomislav Tomasevic, can stake a claim to the mayoralty in the capital, Zagreb.

Following its win in parliamentary elections last year, experts say the ruling Croatian Democratic Union, HDZ, of Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic will confirm its dominance at the local level when Croatians vote to elect their representatives in municipalities, cities and counties.

All eyes are on the big cities, however, with Zagreb and the coastal centres of Split and Rijeka hotly contested.

There is a “big battle” underway in Split and Rijeka, said Tomislav Klauski, a columnist at 24sata.hr, while in Zagreb polls point to a first-round win for opposition lawmaker and urban activist Tomislav Tomasevic, head of the Mozemo party that is part of a green/left bloc.

If he wins the likely run-off, Tomasevic will replace long-running Zagreb mayor Milan Bandic, who died of a heart attack in late February while campaigning for a seventh term.

“Even before the death of Milan Bandic, he [Tomasevic] figured as the biggest favourite – first as the biggest challenger to Bandic and later as the main favourite to win the mayoral post,” Klauski told BIRN.

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