“The condition for HDZ councillors to resign is for the other deputy mayor, Antonio Kuzmanić, to resign as well,” Mihanović, whose party is in the opposition in the Split City Council, told Hina.
Confirming his own resignation, as well as the resignation of his first deputy Bojan Ivošević earlier on Thursday, Mayor Puljak said his second deputy Kuzmanić would act as the commissioner for the city until the early elections.
Mihanović does not agree with this and believes Puljak wants to continue running the city through his deputy after resigning and that owing to Kuzmanić, he “will finance his campaign with public money.”
He now insists that joint elections for the City Council and for the mayor, which is what Puljak advocates, are possible only if Puljak’s entire team resigns.
Commenting on the situation on Wednesday, when it was announced that the mayor and his first deputy would step down, Mihanović said the announced resignations and new elections were the only solution.
“If Puljak and Ivošević resign, then the nine HDZ councillors in the City Council will also resign and contribute to its dissolution as the new elections for the City Council and for the mayor are the only solution for Split,” Mihanović said on Wednesday.
Mayor: Kuzmanić to be in charge of technical tasks, won’t participate in campaign
Mayor Puljak and his first deputy Bojan Ivošević confirmed on Thursday they were stepping down and intended to run in a snap election.
This happened after the parties in the City Council supporting Puljak earlier this week suspended their cooperation with him, insisting that Ivošević be removed from office after an indictment against him was issued for threatening a reporter of the Split-based regional Slobodna Dalmacija daily.
Refusing to replace his deputy, Puljak on Thursday said they would both resign and go to a snap election.
Puljak said his deputy did not threaten the reporter’s life, as confirmed by the reporter herself, that his communication was indeed inappropriate and inadequate but that one did not go to jail for that.
The Split mayor said Ivošević was not a burden on the city government but rather carried and dealt with the burden of the chaos left behind by the former city administrations.
Puljak called on all local political stakeholders to help dissolve the City Council as soon as possible so that new elections could be held, recalling that they had already shown that they wanted it to be dissolved.
“We will propose holding a session of the City Council as early as next week at which a decision would be made on holding district elections by the end of June, and then the government has enough time to make a decision on holding all elections in Split – for the City Council, the mayor and for districts, at once, to minimise the cost,” Puljak said.
He stressed that he, Ivošević and his second deputy Antonio Kuzmanić, to act as commissioner for the city until the elections, would run in the elections as a team.
Puljak dismissed objections that he could use Kuzmanić to continue implementing his policy, noting that Kuzmanić would mostly be in charge of the most necessary technical tasks and would not participate in the election campaign.
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