Tomislav Tomašević won the first round of the mayoral election with a wide margin and his We Can! green left coalition will hold almost half of the seats in the Assembly of the City of Zagreb. The frontrunner in the race to head the administration in the capital of Croatia has been an environmental activist since he was 16.
A Croatian environmentalist and leftist opposition group has come a long way in the last four years. Tomislav Tomašević has just entered the runoff mayoral race in the capital city of Zagreb with 46% of votes as the local leader of the We can! – Political Platform. The coalition known as Možemo! in Croatian emerged from social movements and nongovernmental organizations that have been fighting for the protection of nature and gender equality and opposed war and nationalism for three decades.
In two weeks, Tomašević will face Miroslav Škoro from the right-wing Homeland Movement in the second round. His opponent won 12% in Zagreb. According to preliminary results, We can! will hold almost half of the 51 seats in the Assembly of the City of Zagreb.
Long-time green activist
The coalition’s mayoral candidate joined Zelena akcija (Green Action) in 1998, when he was just 16. Nine years later he became the president of the environmentalist organization, now called Zelena akcija / Friends of the Earth Croatia, and held the position until 2012.
Tomašević completed a postgraduate program of research in environment, society and development at the University of Cambridge as a Chevening scholar. He participated in several United Nations conferences. Until recently he was the program director in the Institute for Political Ecology, a public policy think tank.
We Can! prioritizes energy transition
The candidate most likely to head the local administration in Zagreb has spearheaded the campaigns against corruption and privatization of public services and the construction of a shopping center and luxury flats in a pedestrian area in the city center and waste incinerator.
Ahead of the local elections, Tomašević vowed to improve public services and utilities and lower the bills for the local population. He is a proponent of green industrialization and strict environmental rules in public procurement.
The coalition promised to help households install photovoltaic systems and that it would refurbish half of the buildings owned by the City of Zagreb by the end of the decade
We Can!’s program focuses on waste and water management, mobility and decentralization and the introduction of circular economy principles. In its green recovery plan, the coalition said it would help households install photovoltaic systems and that it would implement energy efficiency measures in half of the buildings owned by the City of Zagreb by 2030.
The platform includes the expansion of the district heating network and the deployment of heat pumps and geothermal energy. We Can!, led by the Zagreb is Ours! (Zagreb je naš!) movement, said it aims to cut carbon emissions in the Croatian capital by 65% in the next ten years and make it carbon neutral by mid-century.
Zagreb is Ours! and its allies won almost 8% of the vote in Zagreb in 2017 and secured four seats. We Can! entered the national parliament last year with 7%.