Bernardić said that all attacks against him were coming from the campaign of one of his opponents.
Candidate for SDP president Davor Bernardić said on Friday that allegations that he had collected signatures of support for his bid to become party president in a irregular way were coming from the campaign of one of his opponents, but did not say which candidate he had in mind, reports Jutarnji List on November 4, 2016.
“The one who is losing had the right to be angry. There is only one opponent who is leading this dirty campaign against me, and not only against me, but also against entire SDP. Some would like for SDP to be on its knees after the elections. They do not want to see a stronger SDP that will take over responsibility for Croatia”, said Bernardić. “This candidate receives 15,000 kuna a month thanks to SDP, but wants to harm the party”, said Bernardić, probably alluding to Member of Parliament Orsat Miljenić, whose supporter Ivan Klarin first cast doubt on the validity of Bernadić’s signatures.
Bernardić then explained how he managed to collect as many as 10,500 signatures of support from party members. “They were gathered at local party branches. We have received signatures from all over Croatia. A thousand additional signatures came on Monday. People in all local branches collected signatures for all candidates, including me”, said Bernardić. He said that it was not a dirty campaign just against him, but also against SDP. “My message is that we are not going to allow SDP to fall on its knees”, concluded Bernardić.
Ivan Klarin, who reported his suspicions to the party election commission, still believes that he was obliged to report irregularities in the collection of signatures of support for Bernardić. “I did it only in the interest of the democratic electoral process within SDP”, he said. Klarin added that, as a member of the Party Central Committee and Member of Parliament, he would respect decisions of all SDP bodies. “I am not in a position to make any decisions about it. But, I would do the same in any future electoral process in SDP”, said Klarin.
Speaking about criticism from some party colleagues that his accusations have damaged the reputation of SDP, Klarin said that he would have made much greater damage to the party if he had remained silent. Although he is a supporter of Orsat Miljenić, Klarin said that Miljenić had absolutely nothing with his actions. “I have personally received this information from party members and I have personally reported them. I believe that I do not need a tutor to report irregularities in the election process”, concluded Klarin.