Zagreb Mayor to Accept Renaming of Marshal Tito Square?

Total Croatia News

In a brief statement to reporters, Milan Bandić seemed to suggest that he was ready to accept the demand of some of the newly-elected members of the City Assembly.

After winning another term as Mayor of Zagreb in the second round of local elections on Sunday, Milan Bandić immediately continued with his usual frenetic pace of mayoral activities, accompanied, as always, by reporters. On Monday, while visiting a construction site, he also alluded to his possible decision regarding the fate of Marshal Tito Square in Zagreb, which some consider to be controversial, reports N1 on June 6, 2017.

Reporters asked Bandić if he would be ready to accept the renaming of the square named after former Yugoslav President Josip Broz Tito since that is a demand made by Bruna Esih, a member of the City Assembly who has the support of several other members. Esih is one of Bandić’s likely coalition partners in the Assembly.

Bandić first said that it was not a question of whether or not he would have a majority in the Assembly, but then added, “That is the answer to your question.”

Bruna Esih was also a candidate for Mayor. She won fourth place in the first round, which eliminated her from the second round. However, she did win substantial support and is now one of the leaders of right-wing faction in the Assembly and has said that, for her and several other members who support her, the renaming of the square was the key issue when deciding whether to support Bandić in the Assembly or not. Without the backing of the majority of members, it is tough for a Mayor to function and the possibility of a new Assembly and a Mayoral election would be high. It is not clear whether or not Bandić can form a majority without Esih and her supporters.

The demand for the renaming of Marshal Tito square in the center of Zagreb has been the focus of certain groups for years. However, until now, Bandić managed to avoid the issue by proposing that it should be decided upon by citizens via referendum or postponed for another time. It seems that now, given the balance of power in the Assembly, Bandić might be ready to accept the proposal. However, he is known for regularly changing his opinion and being very skilled in avoiding making decisions he does not want to take.

Bandić is a former member of the League of Communists and its successors, SDP. He has based his popularity on carefully balancing himself between numerous contentious ideological issues, but his gradual movement towards the right-wing part of the political spectrum in recent years has been noticeable.


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