MOST Wants to Nominate Former Prime Minister Orešković for Zagreb Mayor?

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According to media reports, former Prime Minister Orešković could run for Mayor of Zagreb next year.

In the race for the Mayor of Zagreb, which will be decided at the local elections in May 2017, it can be expected that MOST will have its candidate for the first time. It is certain they will not skip the election for the most important position in all the local government units, but it is still not clear whom they will nominate to try to replace Milan Bandić, reports Večernji List on November 5, 2016.

MOST does have a few potential candidates, but these are just preliminary names. One of them is former Prime Minister Tihomir Orešković, who had an excellent cooperation with MOST’s ministers while in office (from January to October). MOST’s participation in the race for Zagreb Mayor means that Milan Bandić will have one more opponent which he will have to beat if he wants to remain in the mayor’s office. There is no doubt that Bandić wants to be elected for the fifth consecutive term, but there is a feeling that this time he will have a much harder job.

Among his opponents are Anka Mrak-Taritaš (HNS), former Minister of Construction and Physical Planning, who was the first to announce her candidacy, and Sandra Švaljek, Bandić’s former Deputy Mayor, who is now an independent candidate. “I wish my opponents all the best, I wish my fellow citizens all the best, and to myself I wish to remain healthy so that I am able to continue to work as I have worked for Zagreb so far”, said Bandić.

While MOST is still working on its strategy for the local elections, HDZ and SDP, as the two strongest parties, know quite well that they must put forward their own candidates. However, it is still not known who they will be. According to information from HDZ, the party has still not yet discussed who its candidate will be, although a few months ago Andrija Mikulić, the head of the Zagreb branch, claimed that he was the one who would like to be HDZ’s opponent to Bandić. In this regard, it is interesting that today Mikulić announced his initiative to change the name of the Marshall Tito Square in Zagreb, which should presumable make him more popular among rightwing party members and voters. However, Mikulić has no real support among party members. One other possible HDZ’s candidate who is often mentioned in the media is former Culture Minister Zlatko Hasanbegović. There is also speculation that he will run for mayor as an independent candidate supported by conservative NGOs, which would mean that he would have to leave HDZ, and that is not considered to be likely. Another possible HDZ’s candidate is Drago Prgomet, a more moderate politician who has recently returned to the party.

As for SDP, the main candidate is still Davor Bernarić, president of the SDP branch in Zagreb. However, he is one of favourites to become new SDP president later this month. If he wins the intraparty elections, it is expected that he would become the leader of the party in Parliament, which would mean he could not be Mayor of Zagreb at the same time, so the party would have to find some other candidate to run against Bandić and others.


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