HDZ Selects Drago Prgomet as Candidate for Zagreb Mayor

Total Croatia News

The decision has provoked controversy within the party.

Drago Prgomet will be HDZ’s candidate for mayor of Zagreb, and he will also head HDZ’s candidate list for the City Assembly. The decision was made by the HDZ leadership, and on Tuesday it was announced to the president of the HDZ Zagreb branch Andrija Mikulić, who until then had hoped he would be the candidate. However, he will be placed second on the candidate list, behind Prgomet, reports Jutarnji List on March 16, 2017.

The meeting which was convened by HDZ president and Prime Minister Andrej Plenković was also attended by prime minister’s chief of staff Davor Božinović, HDZ general secretary Gordan Jandroković, and HDZ deputy president Milijan Brkić.

According to sources, Plenković said that the party leadership believed Prgomet was the best possible candidate for mayor and he asked others what they thought about it. Mikulić ultimately accepted the decision of the party. However, he expressed his negative opinion about the change in plans, saying he was not sure whether the city branch would accept Prgomet.

“Party members cannot accept him. People cannot forgive him that he changed three parties within a year, and that he secretly met with then SDP president Zoran Milanović”, said the source. Prgomet left HDZ in protest, joined MOST, took part in a secret meeting with Milanović after the 2015 parliamentary elections, was ejected from MOST, founded HRID, and then returned to HDZ. HDZ deputy president Milijan Brkić was also reportedly sceptical towards Prgomet, but he was in the minority.

This decision gives rise to the question of the future of the HDZ Zagreb branch, in which the greatest influence has Milijan Brkić through Mikulić. At the beginning of preparations for the local elections, when HDZ started looking for someone to be a mayoral candidate, Plenković repeatedly talked about it with Prgomet, but there was no agreement because Prgomet insisted on becoming the president of the Zagreb party branch. But this would involve changing the entire cadre of HDZ in Zagreb. So Prgomet declined the offer, and the party leadership tried to find another solution. What happened in the last few days and why Prgomet in the end agreed to challenge the current mayor Bandić is not clear.

One source said that the Zagreb branch will not allow Prgomet to take over the leadership. “It is not going to happen, and Prgomet will not be successful in the elections. With him as the candidate, HDZ will only lose votes. Part of them will vote for Bandić, and part for Bruna Esih”, said the source. Bruna Esih is an independent MP who is part of the HDZ parliamentary group. She is expected to run as an independent candidate for mayor and to attract a significant number of rightwing voters.


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