HDZ President Karamarko to Run for Parliament in Zadar Instead of Zagreb

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HDZ President to stand in Zadar.

At the forthcoming parliamentary elections, HDZ president Tomislav Karamarko will lead his party list in the north of Dalmatia. For some time now, rumours have been circulating that HDZ president intends to choose to run in the strongest electoral fortress of his party in the whole country – the constituency that stretches from Zadar and Lika to Šibenik and Kaštela. During his recent stay in Zadar, Karamarko for the first time opened the door for such an outcome. “The possibility exists. The older I get, the more I return to Zadar”, said Karamarko to reporters at Zadar Forum, reports Slobodna Dalmacija on August 24, 2015.

By taking over the electoral list in Zadar, HDZ president, who was born in Zadar but moved to Zagreb as a high school student, would solve two problems. The first relates to his own position on the political map of the country. Constituencies in Zagreb and Rijeka are not an option for any HDZ president, since in those cities HDZ is inferior to SDP. Karamarko’s decision to run in ninth constituency carries no risk. In that area, HDZ has won all parliamentary elections in the last 12 years.

In other words, even if HDZ were to lose the overall elections, Karamarko would win in his constituency. This would protect him from criticism, but would also raise his image if HDZ were to achieve overall victory, since the ninth constituency will almost certainly bring the record number of parliamentary seats for HDZ.

Another problem is related to Zadar mayor Božidar Kalmeta. Within HDZ, he has been known as a winner since 2003, but there are several criminal investigations going on which could result in criminal charges against him, including detention in prison. By taking over position number one in Kalmeta’s home constituency, Karamarko will provide himself with additional room for manoeuvre: if the State Attorney indeed initiates proceedings against Kalmeta before the parliamentary elections, he will not be on the list, and HDZ will not suffer a big blow because the list will be led by the party president. If, however, criminal proceedings are not initiated, Kalmeta will be second on the list, immediately behind the party president.

However, some argue that a third option should not be ruled out: that Kalmeta, if HDZ wins the elections, would not go neither to parliament nor to prison, but to – diplomatic service.


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