Croatia: Local elections brought some surprises but nothing unexpected

Croatia: Local elections brought some surprises but nothing unexpected

According to data released by the Electoral Commission of Croatia, the mayors of four county capitals secured another four-year term already in the first round local elections, while 11 incumbents will try to win another term in office in the 30 May runoff.

For the country, the most interesting situation was in the capital, Zagreb, where two candidates will go in the second round, Tomislav Tomašević (“Možemo” “Zagreb je naš” coalition – eng.”We can” and “Zagreb is our”) and Miroslav Škoro from Homeland Party. It is important to emphasize that “Možemo” is a green-left coalition and Homenald Party is on the far right of the political spectre. Tomašević is a sort of surprise because “Možemo” coalition was established two years ago and now is the political subject to be seriously considered on the political scene in Croatia. Zagreb elections were specific because the former Mayor, Milan Bandić, recently died after almost two decades in office.

Of other cities, Zoran Gregurović of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) will remain the mayor of Krapina after receiving 59.56% of votes. The HDZ’s Ivica Kirin will remain in the mayoral seat in Virovitica, capturing 51.53% of votes in the first round.

Mišel Jakšić from the Social Democratic Party’s (SDP) will continue as the mayor of Koprivnica after winning 59.17% of votes on Sunday.

Bjelovar is also the town that will be led over the next four years by the incumbent mayor, Dario Hrebak of the Croatian Social Liberal Party (HSLS), who took a convincing 66.86% of votes in the first round.

In Velika Gorica, the largest town in Zagreb County, the incumbent Krešimir Ačkar, backed by the HDZ-led coalition, received 50.1% of votes and will stay in office for another four years.

The HDZ will also have a mayor in Požega, where Željko Glavić won 51.13% of votes.

Eleven incumbent mayors seek another term in a runoff

In Vukovar, the present mayor Ivan Peneva (Independent List) won 43.8% of votes and will face the HDZ’s Nikola Mažar, who received 24.81% in the 30 May runoff.

The incumbent HDZ mayor of Šibenik, Željko Burić (46.63%), will go to the runoff with the SDP’s Tonči Restović (18.94%), as will the HDZ’s mayor of Zadar, Branko Dukić (38.47%), and the SDP’s Marko Vučetić (26.32%).

Two weeks from now, Dubrovnik will choose its mayor between the HDZ’s incumbent Mate Franković (36.87%) and his challenger Pero Vićan of the Dubrovnik Democratic Assembly (DDS) who won 13.54% of votes in the first round.

The HDZ’s Damir Mandić (47.79%) will seek another term as mayor of Karlovac in a faceoff with the SDP’s Davor Petračić (33.35%), and in Sisak, the incumbent Kristina Ikić Baniček of the SDP (39.55%) will compete against the HDZ’s Željka Josić (33.61%).