For a week in a week, local elections are scheduled. In Zagreb, ten candidates are competing for the "main city armchair", while the list for the City Assembly is twice as big - we have 21. list. The second round is inevitable because neither the favor of these elections, the current mayor Milan Bandic, nor in dreams can win the first. Who will go with him in the second round, we'll just see. The biggest chance for this is a coalition candidate gathered around HNS - Anka Mrak Taritaš and independent candidate Sandra Švaljek. On the forecasts of the battle for Zagreb we talked with communication expert Ankica Mamić, sociologist and university professor Slaven Letica, and a lawyer well-instructed in the political situation in Zagreb Perom Kovacevic.
Ankica Mamiceven though he thinks he is the current mayor Milan Bandic the favorit of these choices, believes the battle will be uncertain to the very end. Everything will, of course, depend on who moves with Bandic in the second round of elections. Interesting will be the situation with the City Assembly where, possibly, the winner of the election for the mayor will not have the majority.
What do you expect from recent local elections in Zagreb - who will enter the second round, who will win?
First of all, I would say that it is a general feature of these choices in all major cities that we do not have the absolute favor. Surveys that are recently released in the media are not sufficiently precise to see their relevance - we do not know what their sample or anything is. What can, however, be read from all this is that there is no absolute favor. In the first round there are still some differences between the first, second and third, but then we see that in the second round things look completely different. This is because in the first round people have some sort of anxiety to choose something, they have the option closer to them, and in the second round people will go out to eliminate the one they no longer want. It's hard to say now who will be in Zagreb in the second round, but I can still have all three favorites - Milan Bandic, Anka Mrak Taritaš or Sandra Švaljek. They can all go in the second round and depend on who is going to be against it and it will crystallize the mayor.
How are you looking at the chances of two most likely candidates, namely, the two most serious Bandic's counter-candidates - Anka Mrak Taritaš and Sandra Švaljek? In recent days, they have been in conflict with Milan Bandic on their own?
Absolutely, absolutely. That great dispersion of votes that will take place in the first round is one factor that helps Bandic. The other factor is that his two major competitors have started to face each other, and it is interesting that they do not account for him with each other. If you look, there is no more serious exhortation to the current mayor, except those of ordinary floskula. But this is not uncommon because both both Anka Mrak Taritaš and Sandra Švaljek were his associates, and surely they would not be as easy to attack as the question of how their co-operation seemed in that period. I think that Zagreb will be dense and narrow, but that everything goes on hand to Milan Bandic.
Assembly, we have 21. list. What do you think it will look like, who will go to the Assembly, what coalitions can we expect?
The SDP will most likely be the relative winner of these Assembly elections, but that is one of the Pirove's victories. They gave HNS much more space than that party has value on the political market in Zagreb. The party has no organization and is practically invisible, it can be seen here and there, from choice to choice. So the question is how many HNSs on the joint list of HNS and SDP will be loyal to a big partner who has withdrawn them to the Assembly. See what is happening at national level in HNS and SDP relations.
Secondly, Bandic overwhelmed the successful formula of the past elections, he went with the names of people who knew him, who complemented him. When you see the name of Ljerka Mintas Hodak, forget about a lot of Bandic's flaws. And he did it wisely and cleverly, and that was a winning strategy in the past elections.
The HDZ list does not get by the names of the party markers yet, and they will achieve their regular Zagreb percentage, although Milanovic-Bernardic also showed in the recent elections that the change of the candidates in the last hour could further aggravate the situation and the prospects for a good result .
In any case, the Assembly will be unstable, Bandic and HDZ obviously have an agreement on co-operation in the Assembly, but the question will also have enough mandates to hold the majority together.
And Bruna Esih, what do you expect from her list?
I really think that Zagreb has a relatively small percentage of those right voters, and even the Croatian Conservative Party has supported Sandra Švaljek. Bruna Esih and her list will surely gain some voices, thanks to their national popularity, and thus spoil the result of other worldview-like candidates. She has no chance at the mayoral election, but her list with well-known national names could bring her three or four mandates to the Assembly.
Slaven Letica, as well as Ankica Mamic, expects Bandic's victory in the mayoral election. But in the Assembly, it is considered to be a slightly different situation. It all depends on the situation at the national level, which also goes to Bandic because it will Andrej Plenković without the support of Bandic's parliamentary deputies, it is difficult to bring together a new majority.
What do you think, who will enter the second round of elections for the mayor and who will win it?
I think Milan Bandic and one of the ladies, Sandra Švaljek or Anka Mrak Taritaš will enter the second round.
And who has a greater chance of winning him in the second round?
Since they entered that internal women's political war, I think that they are destroying the chances that any one of them wins. I think he is in some way outspoken, by the logic of rebellion and dominion.
And why do not the two of them count on him, but have they gone one after the other?
I think they were advised by public relations experts as the surveys showed that they were approximately equal, then they concluded that it was important to enter the second round and then start over again. But it seems to me that this is a wrong tactic.
Is any of them likely to beat him in the second round, or is he just the ruler of the second round?
I think that all these circumstances go hand in hand - the government crisis at the national level, the public's lack of interest in the elections and its hyper-radiance and hyperactivity, I think it will lead to the majority of its constituents coming to the polls, and that a large number of voters whose candidate will not enter the second round, stay home. So the second round elections will have a very important role to play in that.
Elections for the Assembly, how will they look?
I think the biggest problems will be HDZ. If Drago Prgomet on the other list had Bruno Esih and the third or fourth Zlatko Hasanbegović, he would have an objective chance to gain a large number of MPs, and he would have great chances in the struggle for the mayor. This will be interesting to see if Bruno Esih, Zlatko Hasanbegović and Željko Glasnović will be stronger and have more seats and votes for Mayor Drago Prgomet and HDZ lists.
As for these other lists, it is obvious that no one will have a preponderance at the City Assembly and in that situation, mayor Bandic leads a wise policy. As in the 2013 election. offered the well-known women-Amazon, now offered the well-known men who are somehow symbols of Bosniaks, Muslims, Judaism, Holocaust, sports achievements, personal tragedies, and the like. Whoever advised him, he counseled him well.
So, can we expect happy elections, as well as interesting coalitions that will be delegated to the Assembly?
Yes, I think that these coalitions will be even more interesting because after the elections it will be even better to see what is the situation in the Croatian Parliament where Milan Bandic has a certain number of new people so the HDZ if it wants to create the majority of pre-election will not be able without Milan Bandic means that the HDZ and the Assembly will have to deal with it.
We have already seen this - the government of Tihomir Oreskovic needed the support of Bandic's parliamentary deputies, after which he received HDZ support at the Assembly ?!
Lawyer Pero Kovačević believes that Milan Bandic will win in the second round of mayoral elections, where Anka Mrak Taritaš will try. In the Assembly, on the other hand, the situation will be somewhat more complicated, he argues, since any option that will want to form the majority will have to win at least two options (party or independent list).
What do you think will be the end of the Mayor's election, who favors you for these elections?
Realistically, Milan Bandic and most likely Anka Mrak Taritaš will enter Milan in the second round because apparently the Gunja affair did not harm him in terms of the votes of the SDP and HNS voters.
And the second round?
In the second round, Milan Bandic is likely to win.
Because it is difficult to expect that a part of the voters who will support Bruno Esih or Drago Prgomet in the first round will vote for Anku Mrak Taritaš in the second round, it is more likely that Milan Bandic will be there. Because we know that many who vote for HDZ at the national level vote in Milan for Milan Bandic.
How will the battle for the Assembly look, who will enter the city parliament, who will have the majority?
I think it will happen for the first time that two groups will fail to gather the majority in the Assembly. Milan Bandic's list will have far fewer votes than they will get as a candidate for the mayor, the HDZ list and Bruno Esih list will be there somewhere by the vote percentage, while SDP and HNS will keep their own 20 percentages. The Assembly is likely to enter the initiative as Zagreb is ours, who could win the mandate and live wall. For Bridge, I think that they will be well-suited to cross the electoral threshold at all. In any case, most will be difficult to assemble this time, it will be a great color.
Let us remind in the end what some of the mayoral candidates have said in interviews with the portal.