SDP to Vote on Successor to Zoran Milanović

Total Croatia News

If no candidates gets the majority of votes, second round of voting will take place next Saturday.

On Saturday, SDP members will go to the polls to elect the new party president for the next four-year period. Seven candidates are in the running to replace the outgoing president and former Prime Minister Zoran Milanović, who has led the party for almost a decade, reports Večernji List on November 19, 2016.

Candidates for party president are: Davor Bernardić, Ranko Ostojić, Tonino Picula, Orsat Miljenić, Katolina Leaković, Gordana Sobol and Vesna Škulić.

About 37,000 party members will elect the president directly, under the “one member – one vote” principle. They will vote at 542 polling stations in local party organizations. The polling stations will close at 6 pm, and the party Central Election Commission will announce provisional unofficial results at about 10 pm, when statements of the candidates are also expected. The official election results will be announced at 2 pm on Monday.

If no one wins the majority of votes, the second round will be held on 26 November, when party members will choose between the two candidates who will have won the greatest number of votes in the first round.

The elections were preceded by a two-week campaign during which the candidates presented their manifestos to the party membership and participate in debates in the largest towns. They called for unity in order to overcome divisions within the party. They also emphasized the need for democratization of the party and the return to true social democracy. Although the campaign began with increased tensions between Orsat Miljenić and Davor Bernardić, the rest of the campaign proceeded without major controversies.

At the beginning of the campaign there were eight candidates, but Domagoj Hajduković decided to withdraw and called on his supported to vote for Davor Bernardić.

It is expected that Davor Bernardić, the president of the SDP branch in Zagreb, will win the most votes in the first round, while the favourites for the other spot in the second round of voting are former Justice Minister Miljenić, former Interior Minister Ostojić, and Member of European Parliament Picula.

This will the second intra-party elections for SDP members this year, which according to the party statutes must take place after each parliamentary elections. In April, Zoran Milanović and Primorje-Gorski Kotar County Prefect Zlatko Komadina were the only two candidates. A little more than 20,000 members voted and re-elected Milanović with a clear majority.

However, after SDP in September lost parliamentary elections for the second time in a row, Milanović announced that he would not run for a new term. Although he is still the nominal party leader and president of the SDP Parliamentary Group, he has not been seen much in public and will reportedly run his private business.


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