Croatia's ruling party leads local elections, but will lose capital Zagreb

Photo: EPA The leader of Mozemo (We can) Tomislav Tomasevic

The Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) of PM Andrej Plenkovic was confirmed as the first political force in the country during the first round of local elections, held in Croatia on Sunday. The HDZ has won majority votes in 11 big cities, while the Socialist Democratic Party, a big opposition party, has only secured two cities, preliminary results show.

However, the great winner was the new coalition between the Greens and the radical left that in Zagreb obtained 45% of the vote, ANSA reported. The leader of Mozemo (We can) Tomislav Tomasevic is a favourite to become new mayor of the Croatian capital. The 39-year-old environmentalist will compete in two weeks in a runoff with the head of the nationalist right, Miroslav Skoro, who won 12% of the vote on Sunday.

With a strong majority in the municipal assembly Tomasevic can realize the many promises he has made, starting with the total dismantling of the vote-buying, corrupt system that held in power in Zagreb for 20 years the former mayor Milan Bandic, a populist, who died in February of a heart attack.

In Split, Ivica Puljak (27%), leader of a small centrist liberal party, will compete in a runoff on 30 May with the HDZ’s Vice Mihanovic as the conservatives risk losing control of the Dalmatian city. In Rijeka, the deputy mayor Marko Filipovic (30%), will try to defend the last stronghold of the Social Democrats, the great losers of these elections, in a competition against the independent candidate Davor Stimac (16%).

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