January 9, 2020 – Former Croatian presidential candidate Dario Jurican, aka Milan Bandic, takes his campaign against corruption in Zagreb to the next level – a press release.
The recent Croatian Presidential election had a little more colour than the usual two-horse race between SDP and HDZ than the contest traditionally entails. In terms of votes, the biggest change was the challenge from the right from Miroslav Skoro, who captured many of the traditional HDZ votes in the first round, and he came within about 2% of beating incumbent President and HDZ candidate, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic.
But in terms of colour, there was one candidate who stood head and shoulders above the rest, one who had many people rooting for his cause, and one whose message talked openly and aggressively about one of the great scourges of Croatian society – corruption.
(Whatever they offered you, I will offer you double – one of the campaign slogans of the Corruption for All campaign).
I will confess that I had never heard of Dario Jurican before the campaign started, but that was definitely a result of my ignorance. I had assumed that he was just some kind of comedian looking for some cheap laughs during the campaign. The target of his campaign was Zagreb Mayor, Milan Bandic, and Jurican even went as far as officially changing his name to Milan Bandic as part of his campaign, which you can follow on his Facebook page I Want to Be Milan Bandic, President of Croatia.
But while there were plenty of elements of comedy in his brilliant campaign and accomplished performance in his many media appearances, Jurican, I learned, was an accomplished filmmaker and producer, and was indeed the man behind the groundbreaking Gazda documentary, which took a deeper look at the murky world of Agrokor (see trailer above).
I total, Dario Jurican aka Milan Bandic took 87,000 votes, or 5% of the electorate, faring better in Zagreb, where his tally of 8.67% or 33,145 votes accounted for almost half that of President Kolinda in the capital city. He took much joy in winning the diaspora vote in Romania, and also claiming Indonesia, where he was tied with two other candidates, but came first alphabetically.
Rather than finishing his campaign with the election, it seems to be only just starting, as Dario Jurican, in association with the Croatian Center for Investigative Journalism and Freedom of the Press, have outlined their next move in a press release, which you can read below in full. He is a brave guy, and the least we can do is offer him a platform.
Zagreb, January 9th, 2020. – Croatian Center for Investigative Journalism and Freedom of the Press (HRCIN) and Dario Juričan alias Milan Bandić, the film director and a presidential candidate at the recent presidential elections in Croatia, continues conducting actions against the 6th term mayor of City of Zagreb, also Milan Bandić. As Dario Juričan often said, Milan Bandić the mayor of Zagreb is his only political adversary.
The struggle continues
Yesterday, in front of the building of the main utility company Zagreb Holding (ZGH), Dario Juričan alias Milan Bandić continues to capitalize on impressive presidential election results recently held in the Republic of Croatia. Dario started his campaign in early spring 2019. by changing his own name from Dario Juričan to Milan Bandić. Soon after the official procedure for changing personal name was finalized and Dario legally changed his name to Milan Bandić and received his new ID card, the local and national public bodies, under the instructions of the mayor Milan Bandić, unlawfully revoked the personal name change. The Administrative court in Zagreb, in an urgent procedure, ruled all actions undertaken by local and national bodies as illegal. Moreover, the Court clearly outlined that the human rights of Dario Juričan were badly violated by the official institutions. In its ruling from November 2019. the Court instructed all institutions to annul those illegal actions and allow execute the legal name change. To this day, this has not been executed so Dario and his legal team continue legal actions to reobtain the name. „The entire legal system has been misused by the Mayor and it seems that his power, even though diminished is still stronger than the Rule of Law“ says Juričan.
The main campaign slogan during Juričan’s presidential campaign was „I want to be Milan Bandić, the President of Croatia“ and „Corruption to all, not only them“. Juričan won 87.883 votes, which was close to 5% of the total number of voters at the national level. More importantly, in the city of Zagreb Juričan finished 4th, winning almost 9% of the votes cast in Zagreb. As political elites in Croatia are accustomed to post election trade, Juričan and his team are continuing “corruption for all” campaign by demanding Zagreb Holding as their political „prey“.
Today Dario and his team erected tents in front of the main utility company Zagreb Holding, well known as the place for political employment of many mayor’s „partners and friends“. Event is inspired by a group of war veterans who, several years ago dissatisfied by the left wing government (led by social democrat SDP) and with the support of the center right party (christian democrat HDZ), protested by illegally erecting a big tent in front of the Ministry of Veterans’ Affairs for over 500 days.
Many political analysts defined the tent as one of the main reasons SDP lost the parliamentary elections in 2016. The tent was taken down as soon as HDZ won the elections. Dario is now using the same model to get „his share“ after the presidential elections.
The satirical public campaign that has shaken the political scene in Croatia during the last presidential elections is evidently not over. Juričan has no plans to stop roasting the political mainstream, concentrating his actions on the fight against corruption in politics with emphasis on the city of Zagreb and the 20 years long reign of the mayor Milan Bandić. Croatia is still a highly corrupted country and Dario is keen, as he says, to put an end to it so that corruption is available to all citizens, not only to the few chosen ones. Mayor Milan Bandić is accused in several high corruption cases and the trials are ongoing. Controversies around mayor Bandić are adding up and the public support as well as support of his partners is fading. His rule of the capital city, which hosts a fifth of Croatia’s population, is still maintained by political symbiosis of „Milan Bandić 365“ party supporting HDZ parliamentary majority while HDZ supports his parties majority in the Zagreb city council.
HRCIN is currently conducting a crowdrising campaign „Meet Zagreb’s finest“. The main goal of this crowdfunding campaign is to promote „Zagreb’s finest“ by buying billboard spaces on the most frequent Zagreb roads and exhibit the posters for a period of at least 2 months. This project presents the most valuable Zagreb citizens to European dignitaries during the time of Croatian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, from January until June 2020!
HRCIN outlined: Let’s present the most valuable Zagreb citizens to the EU officials during the Croatian Presidency of the EU Council in 2020!
The campaign „Meet Zagreb’s finest“ presents several high profile individuals who have a special place in the reign of Milan Bandić the Mayor.
„Meet the Mayor’s partner“: Andrej Plenković, experienced professional, diplomat and multi linguist is a perfect incarnation of a calm but firm leader whose handshake is a blast for our Mayor. Their two hands united in one touch are a symbol of many successful city-state projects, heading forward to their realization.
„Meet the Mayor’s buddy“: Josip Bozanić, Croatian Cardinal of the Catholic Church. This construction visionary was always gladly supported in the Mayors city. There’s always some piece of land left to be baptized. In return, Cardinal’s flock of sheep could easily find a headquarter when it’s time of election.
„Meet the driver“: Successful businessman mister Zdravko Krajina, one of the most influential event managers is the owner of a private company which organizes events on the City’s main square. At the same time he drives the Mayor.
„Meet the secretary“: Marija Caharija is a proper name for success. A bright example that anything is possible if you believe. How to jump from the position of a secretary to the Director of Project management branch in the city’s utility company Zagreb Holding? She knows how. A true role model we should all look up to.
„Meet the butcher“: Ratimir Jureković is an assistant to the Head of City Office for Agriculture and Forestry. In the rare moments of his leisure time he slaughters pigs for the Mayor.