HDZ Unsure Whether to Bring Down Zagreb Mayor Bandić

Total Croatia News

HDZ leadership met on Monday evening to discuss whether to support or reject Bandić’s budget proposal for the next year.

HDZ Presidency held a meeting on Monday evening about the intention of Andrija Mikulić, who is president of the HDZ city branch in Zagreb, to reject the proposal of the 2017 city budget and in that way bring down Mayor Milan Bandić, ahead of local elections which will be held in May. If budget is rejected, Bandić would automatically be removed from the post and the government would appoint a caretaker commissioner who would act as mayor until the elections, reports Večernji List on December 6, 2016.

Several sources from the HDZ presidency said that HDZ president and Prime Minister Andrej Plenković made it clear that he did not see why it would be in HDZ’s interest for the Government to appoint a commissioner for Zagreb. He reportedly added that he did not want HDZ to enter the local elections in a way which he considered to be unfair, particularly since HDZ and Bandić have so far been part of the ruling coalition in the City Assembly.

“Neither Plenković nor anyone else defended Milan Bandić or his budget proposal, but he did not see a reason why HDZ should vote against the budget. The only argument for such move is that Zagreb’s budget is not good. Also, other local officials who were present at the meeting of the party Presidency confirmed that voting against the budget always provokes uproar among citizens”, said one member of the Presidency.

Andrija Mikulić reportedly was not criticized during the meeting, except for the fact that he had not discussed his intention to vote against the budget with the party leadership. Mikulić and his people voted against the initial budget several days ago in the City Assembly, but the crucial vote will be held on 20 December. Mikulić reportedly said that he discussed the issue with party secretary general Gordan Jandroković, but Jandroković replied that the discussion took place only after it was publicly announced they would vote against the budget.

At the meeting, Mikulić said that the party should announce who will be its candidate for Mayor of Zagreb as soon as possible, but Plenković replied that the candidate would be determined only after the adoption of the state budget, which means after 15 December.

The Presidency also discussed the issue of voting against local budgets in Dubrovnik and Split, but the impression is that it is unlikely to happen, particularly in Dubrovnik. The situation in Split is somewhat different since HDZ is part of the opposition in that town.

At the meeting, Plenković also stressed that situation from last Friday, when some of HDZ’s MPs boycotted the vote to lift the immunity of MP Stevo Culej, must not be repeated.


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