Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Sanader's Men Censor Internet?

According to, Ivica Vidović (Ivica Vidovic), government's commissioner for City of Metković (Metkovic) has demanded removal of, official web page of City of Metković.

Many attribute this decision to the on-line poll being conducted on the page. Elections are to be held in Metković on October 3rd and the latest poll results have indicated huge lead (37,58 %) for independent candidates' list led by Stipe Gabrić "Jambo" (Stipe Gabric "Jambo"), controversial local tycoon and former HDZ official. HDZ was trailing by having only 23,43 %.

The on-line poll apparently didn't bother Vidović on Friday, when Slobodna Dalmacija published results more favourable for HDZ.

Sanader's government denies that it had anything to do with the decision. Vidović's discretionary right over city's website are acknowledged, though.

Vidović became government's commissioner for the city on June 30th, following the official dissolution of Metković City Council. HDZ had the majority in the Council until August 2003 when group of HDZ councillors defected and joined "Jambo".


The page is back on-line, this time without the (in)famous poll. In yesterday's communiqué Ivica Puljan, website's editor, tells how he initially refused Vidović's request to remove the poll from the website and how Vidović didn't listen to his warning about possible negative publicity of such decision. The communiqué also tells about "misunderstanding of Internet".

What is striking about this little scandal is the way Vidović understood website. Instead of simply asking that the poll be taken down, he requested (in his official document) that the whole website goes offline.

But this isn't so striking, considering the way in which most Croatian politicians and public officials approach information technology, best symbolised in Butlerian Jihad against electronic voting in Sabor.


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