Opposition Says President’s First Year in Office Marked by His Character

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“The first year in office was in line with expectations, in some of his public debates he gives a different view of the situation and it completes the picture, and sometimes, due to his style and cynicism, focus is shifted to things other than those intended,” said Social Democrat Arsen Bauk.

Considering the constitutional powers at his disposal, the president did not make any mistakes and the values he advocates are common, said Bauk. “But the style is only his,” he added.

The whip of the Homeland Movement, Stephen Nikola Bartulica, believes Milanović is looking for his place in the political arena but that he often does it in a tactless way.

“I believe that sometimes he is too honest about what he thinks, which possibly challenges his own voters, but that is his and not our problem. He said that he was a president with character and we have been witnessing more and more what kind of character that is,” said Bartulica.

He said that sometimes it was better to relax the situation in society rather than insist on certain issues, and that he hoped the president would be able to sit at the table and help find solutions as a mature politician rather than always causing tension.

Nikola Grmoja (Bridge) said that Milanović was like “coronavirus waves”, peaceful for some time, after which he engages in political quarrels that last for a few weeks, and then he turns quiet again.

He described as good the president’s attitude to Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina and he also supported his fight for freedom of speech.

Hrvoje Zekanović of the Croatian Sovereignists said that in some situations Milanović acted as a true sovereignist, notably with regard to Croatia’s eastern neighbour, but that “he then blows it”.

Anka Mrak Taritaš of GLAS said that as a president with character, Milanović demonstrated both the good and the bad sides of his character.

The good side is that he is consistent with regard to certain issues, such as the “For the homeland ready” salute, she said.

Katarina Peović of the Workers’ Front said Milanović’s first year in office “lacks substance, is marked by too many verbal showdowns and few concrete moves.”

Even though the office of president does not have significant executive significance, Peović believes that the president can advocate policies designed to restore dignity to the disenfranchised majority, which, she said, lived in very difficult conditions.


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