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Photograph: HINA/ Mario STRMOTIĆ/ ua

The head of the Split branch of the strongest opposition Social Democratic Party (SDP), Ivo Baldasar, said on Monday that he would not be a member of the SDP any more, but would remain Mayor of Split.

Baldasar held a press conference after the SDP leadership had decided on Saturday to dissolve the executive bodies of the party's Split branch and proposed that the Main Committee dissolve the whole branch.

Baldasar described the decision as dissolution of democracy in the SDP. He said he would again run for Mayor next year, but did not know whether he would do so as an independent candidate or a candidate of a party.

Baldasar said he had expected that he would be replaced and even thrown out of the party, but that he had not expected a proposal for the dissolution of the entire, 1,100-strong branch. He said he had no doubts that the proposal would be adopted by the Main Committee.

Meanwhile, the head of the SDP's Primorje-Gorski Kotar County branch, Zlatko Komadina, told a press conference in Rijeka that the dissolution decision should have been substantiated

If the leadership wanted to eliminate Baldasar from the race in local elections, they should have expelled him and not 1,100 people from the party, Komadina said. It would be good if the Main Committee rejected the proposal to expel all members of the Split branch from the SDP, he concluded.

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