Long-time mayor of Croatian capital of Zagreb dies at 65

International
Milan Bandic

FILE – This Monday, Dec. 28, 2009 file photo shows Zagreb’s mayor Milan Bandic reacting at his campaign headquarters in during presidential elections in Zagreb, Croatia. Bandic, the controversial long-serving mayor of Croatia’s capital of Zagreb, has died from a heart attack, his office said Sunday, Feb. 28, 2021. He was 65. Bandic felt unwell late Saturday and was swiftly taken to a hospital but nothing could be done, the state HRT television reported. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic, File)

ZAGREB, Croatia (AP) — Milan Bandic, the controversial long-serving mayor of Croatia’s capital of Zagreb, has died from a heart attack, his office said Sunday. He was 65.

Bandic felt unwell around midnight Saturday and was swiftly taken to a hospital but nothing could be done, the state HRT television reported.

The populist Bandic was one of Croatia’s best-known politicians, running Zagreb for the past 21 years amid a series of corruption scandals.

Croatia’s anti-graft authorities have launched several investigations against Bandic, who was detained in 2014 but was still later re-elected to the post.

Mourning his death, some citizens lit candles Sunday outside Bandic’s Zagreb home.

Bandic “lived for his city and its citizens, who always came first, and for his job, which he did with energy and love, and to which he gave the whole of himself,” Bandic’s office said.

Bandic has had previous health problems.

Funeral arrangements are yet to be announced. Bandic left behind a wife and a daughter.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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