Bandić was erased from the SDP membership in 2009 before the Croatian presidential election when he defied the then party leadership’s suggestion that he should not run for the president. When he and the SDP parted their ways, Bandić ran for the country’s president as an independent candidate. In the presidential runoff in January 2010, he was defeated by the SDP candidate Ivo Josipović.
After it was reported on Sunday morning that Bandić, 65, died of a massive heart attack, the current SDP leader Peđa Grbin wrote on the party’s Facebook account that Bandić’s mayoral terms since 2000 were marked by “many controversies, scandals and court proceedings.”
“We will remember him for his undeniable talent for populism, and as a politician who passed away suddenly as ‘lifelong mayor”, who has not lived to see the day of his political end which should have happened in May.” Croatia will hold local elections on 16 May.
Grbin said that Bandić’s way of running the city today passed into history.