The main news of the local elections in Croatia is the extremely good result of the green-left coalition We can! and their candidate for mayor of Zagreb, Tomislav Tomašević. Although Tomašević will have to fight for the mandate in the second round, the result he achieved on Sunday provide him with good reason to hope that he will be the next mayor of the Croatian capital.
“Today, the citizens of Zagreb loudly stated that this city does not belong to a clique, that this city belongs to all of us who live in it and that is why Zagreb is ours!”, said Tomašević during the celebration at the election headquarters.
He added that the election result is another significant step in freeing Zagreb from the so-called corrupt octopus. In this difficult task, the future mayor will be able to count on the support of the city assembly – the coalition We Can! won as much as 40% of the vote for the local parliament and will most likely have the majority of seats. The members of the coalition gathered around the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), the Homeland Movement (DP), the Labour and Solidarity Party, the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and Most will also sit in the Zagreb Assembly.
Tomašević won 45% of the votes in the mayoral race, or slightly more than 147 thousand votes, which equals the sum of the votes next five candidates share between themselves. Tomašević won as many as 107 thousand votes more than the second-placed Miroslav Škoro of the Homeland Movement, with whom the green-left candidate will face off in the runoff.
“We have a huge advantage over the opponent after the first round, but there is still much ahead. Two more weeks of fight awaits and we will do our best again. We will continue to run a positive campaign and focus on the problems of this city and the solutions to those problems”, Tomašević stated.
His opponent, Miroslav Škoro, also addressed the public, using the opportunity to sharpen his right-wing rhetoric and comment on the ideological premises of the coalition lead by We Can!, which he already reffered to as being problematic during his campaign.
“They are neither green nor left, they’re extreme left and it will be stopped in the second round, so God help me. The gap is big, and so is the task to bridge it, but with faith in God and your help, I am sure that in two weeks we will celebrate the mayor of Zagreb who will not be from a green or left coalition, who will continue Zagreb’s tradition and all that modern democracy throughout the world represents”, said Škoro, according to N1.
Judging by the results so far, Tomašević can expect to win in the faceoff. Until then, during the next two weeks Zagreb will witness an intensification of attacks on the preferred local right-wingers’ boogiemen – the “leftists”, “Yugoslavs” and “Serbs”.
The We Can!, New Left, ORAH, and For the City coalition will have its representatives in the assemblies of other major Croatian cities, including Split, Osijek, Rijeka, Dubrovnik and Pula. In addition, it is important to note the weak result of the Social Democratic Party of Croatia (SDP), which kept its ground only in Rijeka. This shows that a large number of SDP’s former voters gave their support to the We Can! coalition, which seeks to promote contemporary left and green policies.
Translation from Serbian: Iskra Krstić
This article was ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED in Serbian on may 17, 2020.