PM Plenkovic blames ‘media bias’ for local election failure in Zagreb

NEWS 31.05.2021 20:52
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Source: N1

PM Andrej Plenkovic on Monday accused some media outlets of unprofessional and biased conduct towards his HDZ party's candidate for Zagreb Mayor, Davor Filipovic, claiming that the triumphant leftist We Can! party "has something against Croatia as it is today," and that the right-wing Homeland Movement (DP) is "an absurd party," state agency Hina reported on Monday.

“I believe the HDZ’s candidate in Zagreb was exposed to aggression and barbarism, with individual hosts at RTL and Nova (television channels) ostensibly accidentally but actually intentionally calling him the wrong name,” Plenkovic said, adding that media outlets did not treat Filipovic “objectively and professionally.”

Hina did not explain what Plenkovic was referring to.

Commenting on sociology professor Drazen Lalic’s commenting for RTL in the studio on election night, Plenkovic said that Lalic “was paid to vilify Filipovic and one political camp two days before the election”, and as for the N1 television channel, he said that it is “an ideologically biased television.”

Stressing that he was pursuing a policy of having the HDZ establish itself as a centre-right party, Plenkovic criticised the green-left We Can! party, whose candidate Tomislav Tomasevic was elected Zagreb mayor on Sunday.

“I can see that We Can! has started paraphrasing my message from 2016, when I said that we were changing the HDZ in order to change Croatia. They are saying that they will change Zagreb in order to change Croatia, so they obviously must have something against Croatia as it is,” Plenkovic said, repeating that his government had protected jobs, saved employers and secured money for post-earthquake reconstruction.

“I’ll have to listen carefully in order to figure out what kind of change they are calling for, what they want to make better,” Plenkovic sad, adding that he “expected good cooperation” with Tomasevic. Commenting on the Homeland Movement party, he said that “the idea of creating an alternative movement to the HDZ in the fourth decade of Croatia’s independence made no sense.”

“It only fragments the electorate, and that makes it possible for candidates of the left to get to the second round and win,” he said.

Plenkovic also resented that reporters did not ask him a single question on Statehood Day on Sunday about the joint laying of wreaths with President Zoran Milanovic, noting that Milanovic was ignoring the holiday.

“The head of state did not issue a message for Statehood Day, he ignored the concert on Saturday, something like that happens in a normal European country only if someone is seriously ill and cannot attend,” he said, describing this as an example of media “applying double standards” when following individual political camps or candidates.

“It is a disgrace that he did not issue a message of congratulation on Statehood Day, it is the same as his non-compliance with the law in proposing the candidate for the Supreme Court president,” said Plenkovic, “among other things,” Hina reported.

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