Nearly three weeks after the local elections, the Zagreb Assembly's 47 new members were sworn in on Thursday, opening up a new chapter for city politics, following the death of Mayor Milan Bandić in late February and his party's relegation to the opposition for the first time in decades.
Under a coalition deal struck on Wednesday between Možemo, the party of the city's new mayor, Tomislav Tomašević, and the Social Democrats, the two parties have a majority in the chamber and the SDP will hold the speaker's chair. That job has gone to the SDP's Joško Klisović, who ran against Tomašević in the first round of the mayoral race. He said he hoped the work of the Assembly would benefit the citizens of the capital.
"It is our job, my honorable colleagues, to make decisions and adopt policies that will improve the lives of our fellow citizens. We must place the interest of the public ahead of our own," Klisović said.
The assembly also voted to confirm four deputy speakers, two from the ruling majority and two from the opposition. Mislav Herman, the deputy speaker from the HDZ, pledged to be open to the new ruling majority's policies.
"The Croatian Democratic Union, unlike some parties in the last assembly, will not build their brand on rejecting everything coming from the new majority. We will support everything we believe is good policy and reject anything that we believe is not in the interest of the city's residents,” he said.
Jelena Pavičić Vukičević, one of the late Mayor Milan Bandić's closest colleagues, has found herself in the opposition for the first time in 20 years.
"Every member of the Assembly has his or her own energy, issues that he or she believes are of vital interest to the city's residents. I don't think that we were particularly divided along majority-minority lines in the last assembly and I hope it will stay that way," she said.
The Zagreb City Assembly is set to hold its first working session in July.
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