Photograph: HINA/ Daniel KASAP/ iš

Split Mayor Ivo Baldasar of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) said on Wednesday that in the coming elections for SDP president he would support Zlatko Komadina, an SDP vice-president and head of Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, adding that a final decision on the matter would be made by the party's Split branch.

Baldasar said that there was not enough democracy in the SDP and that the current party leadership, headed by Zoran Milanovic, had not consulted sufficiently with and respected party members.

"The main reason I will vote for Zlatko Komadina are the (party leadership's) numerous failures. The SDP leadership should either leave or offer their resignation, and if the party members support them, they can run as candidates again," Baldasar said.

A convention of the SDP at which members of the party's leading bodies will be elected is scheduled to take place on April 2. It will be preceded by elections for the party president, on March 12. That decision of the SDP Presidency is yet to be supported by the Main Committee, which is to convene on January 23.

After a session of the SDP Presidency this past Monday, Komadina said that he would run for SDP president, criticising Milanovic for running the party in an autocratic manner. Komadina was supported by SDP vice-president Rajko Ostojic and Presidency member Davor Bernardic, who said that they would support his candidacy.

Milanovic responded by saying that the party was stable and that it had shown enormous strength in the recent parliamentary election, stressing that the SDP needed to be firm and bold in the fight for a modern and social democratic Croatia.

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