ZAGREB, January 18, 2020 – Social Democratic Party (SDP) leader Davor Bernardić said on Saturday in Ogulin, where the party leadership met to discuss preparations for parliamentary elections, that as the SDP’s leader, he was the party’s only candidate for prime minister.
Bernardić said the fairest thing to do would be to hold parliamentary elections as soon as possible as the current parliament had long stopped representing voters’ will, with “as many as 28 deputies having crossed the floor.”
“The ruling coalition is a result of political trade-offs in the parliament, so the fairest thing to do would be to call the elections as soon as possible so that voters can decide who will be leading the country. We are ready for the elections, whenever they are held this year,” Bernardić told SDP officials who gathered for an operational meeting after last week they appointed ten coordinators for constituencies.
Bernardić believes that Croatia is at a crossroads. “Citizens have said that they want changes, the outcome of the European election was not accidental, it is a result of the SDP’s hard work and great energy, good candidates and good organisation and that outcome created preconditions for the success of our presidential candidate Zoran Milanovic,” he said.
He said that work on the party’s platform was nearing completion and that it contained key solutions for higher living standards, higher salaries and pensions, reform of the health and education systems, and greater trust in state institutions.
“The SDP not only has policies, it has people to implement those policies,” Bernardić said and when asked if he was the only candidate for prime minister, he said that as the SDP’s leader, he was the only candidate for prime minister.
As for possible coalition partners, he said that those were parties from the Anti-corruption Council, the Croatian Peasant Party (HSS), the Croatian Pensioners’ Party (HSU) and SNAGA. The SDP will talk also to other parties that share the same worldview and that supported Milanovic in the presidential elections, he said.
Asked about HSS leader Krešo Beljak’s controversial tweet about assassinations by the Yugoslav secret service UDBA, Bernardić said that he had condemned it in the strongest terms, that the SDP had distanced itself from it and that Beljak had apologised for it more than once, as well as that the HSS would stay the SDP’s partner.
SDP secretary-general Nikša Vukas said that talks were underway about possible coalitions.
Asked to comment on HDZ vice-president Milijan Brkić’s statement that Bernardić would never be prime minister, Vukas said that Brkić was not the one to decide who the prime minister would be, adding that the HDZ should mind its own business. “We will not comment on their intraparty elections, they do not interest us, we are addressing citizens,” said Vukas.
More SDP news can be found in the Politics section.