Controversial Mayor of the Dalmatian City of Splt Zeljko Kerum, has confirmed on Friday that he will not run for the job in 2013. The news will be welcomed by the majority of Split’s 450,000 population, as Kerum has proven to be not the most popular mayor the city has had.
“I will not run again for Mayor. My party (Croatian Civic Party), has enough quality officials to find a candidate,” Kerum told Radio Split, adding that he will announce closer to the time who that candidate will be.
The colourful tycoon, who made his fortune in the supermarket business, is never far away from controversy. He is renowned for saying on live TV that he would never let a Serb marry his daughter and that 70% of journalists in Croatia were in fact Yugoslavs based on their surnames.
The public also resents Kerum because of his inconsistency: although in his political programme he presented himself as a supporter of traditional values and a conservative world view, by getting divorced and having extramarital affairs he is considered to have violated the principles that he espoused. He also has been heavily criticised for using council funds to benefit his own project in doing work around his hotel which is being build near Split’s waterfront and the state of the Split coffers, which is heavily in debt.