Croatian Pensioners’ Party to Support HDZ’s Government?

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SDP has reportedly lost what it used to call its strategic coalition partner.

With regards to the support for the current government led by HDZ president and Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, it seems that the left opposition led by SDP has lost one ally. The Croatian Pensioners’ Party (HSU) does not want early parliamentary elections and will reportedly support new ministers that Prime Minister Andrej Plenković will propose to Parliament at the beginning of June, reports Jutarnji List on May 28, 2017.

Although HSU has only one member of Parliament, party president Silvano Hrelja, given the current situation, each vote is crucial. If HDZ manages to retain on its side all the MPs who voted against the motion of no confidence in Finance Minister Zdravko Marić, and gave support to Gordan Jandroković as the new Speaker of Parliament, Plenković’s government would survive with 77 votes in the Parliament (76 MPs are needed for a majority).

“New elections would not bring anything new. Živi Zid could get a couple more seats, MOST would get several fewer seats, HDZ would split into the ultra-right and moderate right factions, and our SDP-HSS-HSU coalition would get several seats less. HNS would also get fewer seats. Nothing significant would have happened, and the overall balance of power would remain similar,” said Hrelja.

In the most recent parliamentary elections, HSU was part of the SDP-led People’s Coalition.

Asked if anyone from HDZ invited him for a meeting, Hrelja answered that he had received some signals for discussions. “I represent voters who do not have much time to wait, and I have no problem with supporting a government which would in return solve particular problems of pensioners, problems such as supplementary health insurance, as well as various retirement and social issues,” explained Hrelja.

In an interview on Saturday, Prime Minister Plenković also openly called on HNS, HSS and IDS to cooperate with his party and said that the names of the four new ministers would be part of the new co-operation agreement.

As of now, IDS has declined his offer. “A coalition with right-wing parties is out of the question. If Plenković does not have a parliamentary majority, he should call new elections,” said IDS President Boris Miletić.

As for HSS, party president Krešo Beljak has repeatedly said that his five MPs will not make a new parliamentary majority. However, HSS Presidency member Stipe Gabrić Jambo thinks differently and lists several reasons why the country does not need new elections. He said to the party leadership to think twice before making a decision to decline the offer to support Plenković’s government. “HDZ has never been fair to HSS, but if I were Beljak I would not bring down the government. However, if the party leadership decides otherwise, I will respect that decision,” said Jambo, who is not a member of Parliament.


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