Croatian President Zoran Milanović faces a backlash from the government and the opposition after saying he is not sure whether to participate in the parliamentary elections scheduled for 5 July.
According to his constitutional duties, the president is supposed to remain impartial, forcing him to withdraw his party membership of the Social Democratic Party at the beginning of his term.
However, after facing a backlash for promoting non-participation, he doubled down on his statements calling for Croats to go to the polls.
“It is unbelievable how my well-meaning and defensive statement has prompted several analysts to react. My message is ‘vote’. I will still think about my position, as I do not want to be biased which is prohibited for my role“ Milanović told reporters, highlighting that the right to vote is a constitutional right, not a duty.
According to the latest polls, ruling HDZ is leading with 28%, while the opposition coalition Restart led by SDP is at around 24.9%. And the new right-wing party Homeland Movement, which is led by former singer Miroslav Škoro, lies at 13%. (Tea Trubić Macan, EURACTIV.hr)