Early elections for the mayor and the city council will be held in Split on Sunday, slightly more than 12 months after the ordinary local elections which were held throughout Croatia in May 2022.
The snap polls in the second biggest Croatian city were called after Mayor Ivica Puljak and his two deputies, who were elected in 2022, tendered resignation on 8 April following a scandal involving Deputy Mayor Bojan Ivosevic who threatened a local reporter and was subsequently indicted for intimidation. The Office of the State Prosecutor (DORH) in Spit issued the indictment on 23 March.
Upon their resignation, also members of the 31-seat City Council stepped down, paving the way for an early election for the town’s legislative council.
On Sunday, the nine mayoral candidates will vie for the position: Ivica Puljak of the Centre party, Zoran Djogas supported by the HDZ and the HSS parties, a former mayor Zeljko Kerum supported by his HGS party, Josip Markotic of the Bridge party, SDP representative Davor Matijevic, an independent Ante Franic, Kristina Vidan of the Smart (Pametno) party, Tamara Viskovic of the We Can and the New Left parties and Aris Zlodre of the Homeland Movement.
Since Croatia gained independence, Puljak has been for the shortest period in the mayoral position of this Adriatic city, only ten months.
The election of the mayor in the first round of the polls requires the support of 50% plus one ballot. If none of the candidates manages to pass this threshold, the mayoral runoff will take place between the first two vote-getters in two weeks’ time.
Ten slates have applied for the polls for the city assembly.