Sunday, May 09, 2004

No Surprises

SDP had its convention yesterday.

Just like in good old days when his party was the only one around, Ivica Račan (Ivica Racan) won chairmanship by being the only candidate.

Race for his deputy was marginally more interesting, with media speculating about former defence minister Željka Antunović (Zeljka Antunovic) having to fend off challenge from Milan Bandić (Milan Bandic), controversial and populist deputy mayor of Zagreb and boss of Zagreb SDP organisatuon.

Bandić more or less had his chances destroyed after media leaks about his verbal altercation with Zagreb mayor Vlasta Pavić (Vlasta Pavic). Bandić apparently used some rather un-diplomatic and un-gentlemanly language leading earning the epithet of "sexist" as a result.

Željka Antunović nevertheless had to go into the second round of vote before winning.

In any case, Sanader doesn't have to worry much about this kind of SDP. With Račan at the helm, HDZ wouldn't have to worry about Croatia's main opposition party.

And with Antunović as his apparent heir apparent, Račan secured himself from all those radicals who would like to see him go down. In views of many, Antunović is to Račan what Dan Quayle was to Bush Sr.


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