Croatia Elections: Coalition Negotiations to Start Today?

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MOST to start negotiations with SDP and HDZ today?

Coalition talks between MOST and SDP and HDZ might start today, leader of MOST Božo Petrov confirmed yesterday, but it will mainly depend on the decisions made at the meeting of the MOST National Council this morning, reports Jutarnji List on November 11, 2015.

HDZ also expects the negotiations to begin today. This morning, the party should hold a meeting of its Presidency where they will discuss the details of their talks with MOST. Yesterday, HDZ did not say where that meeting will take place, nor who will be the members of HDZ’s negotiation team.

As far as SDP is concerned, Zoran Milanović will be joined by presidents of the largest parties of his Croatia Is Growing coalition, Vesna Pusić (HNS) and Boris Miletić (IDS). Milanović, Pusić and Miletić will meet this morning at SDP headquarters. General attitude of SDP is that most of the reforms which MOST advocates are acceptable, but they think that Zoran Milanović should stay as the prime minister. “Citizens have given us their confidence. Zoran Milanović has received the most preferential votes of all the candidates, and if our voters wanted Prgomet to be the prime minister, they would have voted for him”, sources from the party explain. “We want an agreement on stable government. Voters have decided that our government should continue with the reforms. HDZ has 59 seats with diaspora representatives, while SDP with IDS and minorities has 67 seats.”

New members of parliament from MOST will meet this morning to discuss their platform for coalition negotiations with SDP and HDZ. Their leader Božo Petrov said yesterday that they will not enter into coalition will HDZ or SDP, but he did not elaborate on possible further steps. Members of MOST have repeatedly stressed that they do not care about positions in government, but that they insist on reforms, with emphasis on reforms of judiciary and public administration and on painful cuts.

However, some members of MOST have given somewhat conflicting statements in the last few days. Drago Prgomet said that MOST should enter the government, that they will decide who will be the next prime minister and that it will not be HDZ president Tomislav Karamarko or SDP president Zoran Milanović.

Stipe Petrina, mayor of Primošten and one of MOST’s members of parliament, said on Tuesday that, if MOST were to enter into coalition with HDZ, he would resign from the party and that at least five other members of parliament would do the same. He called for the “national unity government” to be formed.

Božo Petrov has denied rumours which have been circulating that there is already a split in his party, with his faction wanting to support HDZ and his deputy Drago Prgomet wanting to support SDP’s coalition.

As far as other parties are concerned, HDSSB with its two members of parliament will discuss their options on Friday. Reformists who have one seat in parliament say they have heard from the leaders of both coalitions since the elections, but that they still have not made any decisions. The mayor of Zagreb Milan Bandić also did not say whom will his two members of parliament support. “Our support will go to those who demonstrate professionalism, unity, responsibility and solidarity, but I doubt that anyone will do it”, Bandić said.


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