Six years after leaving office, former President Stjepan Mesić is again entering politics.
SDP president and leader of the People’s Coalition Zoran Milanović spent Saturday morning campaigning in Zagreb, trying to attract the support of voters in the first parliamentary constituency. He was joined by former President Stjepan Mesić, who is a candidate for the People’s Coalition in the constituency, reports Večernji List on August 20, 2016.
After meeting with potential voters, Milanović told reporters that he expected to win in the first constituency and added he was glad that his direct rival would be HDZ president Andrej Plenković, since previous HDZ presidents usually fled Zagreb and ran in other constituencies.
He said that he believed voters would give him another chance to be prime minister. “It will be difficult, that is clear, since HDZ is a strong party. But we are stronger”, said Milanović. Responding to a reporter’s remark that some people still say that SDP members are Yugoslavs, Milanović said that he was a Yugoslav as much as Plenković was. He also asked journalists, politicians and the media to finally stop discussing the topics like Yugoslavs and the Yugoslav secret police and to focus on real issues such as the economy.
Milanović was joined by his coalition partners, HSS president Krešo Beljak, HSU president Silvano Hrelja and former Croatian President Stjepan Mesić (2000-2010), who will be a candidate of the People’s Coalition. However, since he is placed low on the candidate list, the only way he can enter Parliament is if he receives enough “preferential” votes.
Mesić said that these elections were a turning point and that voters would decide whether Croatia will go forward or will remain in the past where it has been taken by former HDZ president Tomislav Karamarko. “I see a change at the helm of HDZ, but the party has not changed. HDZ has not become what they say they are – a modern conservative party. They are a party which remains backward-looking. HDZ wants to use the past to solve the future, and no one has succeeded doing that”, said Mesić.
HSS president Krešo Beljak said that HSS (Croatian Peasants’ Party) was not an agricultural union and that there were a lot of topics about which his party had something to say. He explained that he himself was a high school professor who graduated from two universities and in the new government he would deal with the issue of demographic policy. “HDZ’s promise about a thousand euros per baby is not a serious measure. We and the experts will draft a real programme for demographic renewal of Croatia”, said Beljak.