Last elections created an interesting situation in Split. When the dust settled or all votes were counted, it turned out that 10 out of 25 seats had been won by SDP and its allies. 6 were won by HDZ. 4 were won by Željko Jerkov (Zeljko Jerkov). 3 were won by far right coalition called Croatian Union. 1 was won by independent list led by former mayor and SDP dissident Slobodan Beroš (Slobodan Beros).
SDP lacks 3 seats for majority. HDZ lacks 7, but it could count on Croatian Union. In both cases majority can be provided by Jerkov and his list.
So, everyone expected Jerkov to make an appropriate announcement on yesterday’s press conference.
But Jerkov and his crew had other ideas. He announced that his list “won’t participate in executive branch of city government”, but that it would support any option that comes with a “concrete and detailed program what to do with the city of Split”. This program should also include “complete city zoning in next six months”, privatisation of city-owned companies and at least 800 million HRK (cca. 110 million €) of investment in city’s infrastructure.
This was very ambitious plan and very bold move by Željko Jerkov. Establishment-friendly media accused him of cowardice and unwillingness to take responsibility and “fulfil obligations towards those who had elected him”.
But this decision makes perfect sense. If Jerkov opted for SDP, he risked getting zip from central government’s coffers in Zagreb. If Jerkov opted for HDZ, he risked the same thing after a year when Sanader goes down in early parliamentary elections.
Instead, Jerkov all but suggested that HDZ and SDP form coalition. And for this they could have some sort of precedent – similar idea is being floated for Osijek-Baranja County where success of Branimir Glavaš (Branimir Glavas) offends both parties’ delicate Europhilic sentiments.
If HDZ and SDP fail to reach agreement, new set of elections is more likely, and with it even bigger percentage of votes for Jerkov.
This decision might put Split in interesting times, but it seems that the stuff that usually happens during interesting times is the only way for this city and this country to move forward.