Drago Prgomet, Former MOST Member, Analyzes Negotiations on Future Government

Total Croatia News

A senior member of MOST a couple of months ago, and offered the post of Prime Minister during negotiations with SDP, Drago Prgomet offers his thoughts on the forming of the new government. 

Drago Prgomet, a former member of MOST, expelled after he was filmed secretly talking with Prime Minister Zoran Milanović, has published an article in which he analyzed MOST and everything that has happened since the elections, reports Index.hr on January 11, 2016, reports Index.hr on January 11, 2016.

“Due to the results that MOST achieved, it became evident that this will not be the usual handover of power between two governments, but quite a deep change in the political and economic system. As a person who participated in the elections within the MOST political platform with my HRID association, which is now the HRID political party, I argued that after the elections we need to quickly begin forming a new government. The choice was either a coalition with left-wing or right-wing political parties and participation in government. Parliamentary elections are elections with the goal of coming to power, and that means taking those positions in the government structure from which you can implement the advocated changes. A logical sequence would follow: first, a choice of a coalition partner (HDZ or SDP), and then specific and detailed negotiations on the reforms. If there is no agreement with the first partner, then you can look at the possibility of making an agreement with the other party. You have the right to demand the fair share of power which belongs to you, but you cannot blackmail.

Some of the colleagues from MOST had a different approach, and that was, simply put, a coalition government which would include MOST, HDZ and SDP, or, if that does not work, new elections. However, from the very beginning I was convinced that at this moment that was as unrealistic as a government of experts which would have the support of everybody. That would be a negation of democracy. It was obvious that attitudes between members of HRID and certain individuals in MOST at that time significantly differed, which led to the termination of our cooperation.

But, the fact that we were right was confirmed by the final decision made by MOST, when after six weeks of negotiations they decided under the now well-known circumstances to form a coalition with HDZ. It was the end of a period which was marked by conversations and negotiations which were conducted in a way that is unprecedented in current democratic life. They were conducted in an atmosphere in which MOST leaders understood the negotiations as an opportunity to influence the internal party relations within the parties with whom they were negotiating.

I need not remind you that these were parliamentary elections where the citizens voted for changes in the society, leaving the changes at the top of the two parties, HDZ and SDP, to be decided by their members. And these attempts at blackmailing the two largest parties, by setting them conditions which could not be fulfilled, were actually attempts to decide personnel issues in other parties. Again, the question of who will lead HDZ and SDP concerns the members of these parties, and not members of MOST. This is true in all democratic societies.

However, you could almost understand these attempts once you see how SDP and HDZ have behaved. The negotiations were a demonstration of weaknesses of the large parties. It was an unprecedented political situation, in which HDZ had agreed to accept a Prime Minister-designate without asking their usual question, ‘where were you in 1991’ [meaning, what were you doing during the Homeland War], and in which SDP was willing to accept a right-wing, conservative politician for its prime minister contrary to decisions of internal party bodies. Obviously, there were no ideological obstacles nor a minimum of political ethics. Also, the party presidents were ready to get rid of their closest party associates.

The selection of PM-designate Tihomir Orešković is a truly unique element of recent political experiments. MPs from MOST and HDZ have endorsed a person whom only a few of them have ever heard about and about whose political program they did not know anything. Just like he did not know anything about political programs of HDZ and MOST. After two weeks of negotiations, many citizens are asking themselves: is MOST really ready to implement what they had advocated during the campaign – changing Croatia, or is the struggle about who will take over law enforcement system the most important part of the negotiations? Is this the result of the intention to control “the sharks”, as MOST likes to call its senior coalition partner whom they do not trust, or do they want to establish political control over the system to monitor all citizens? What is particularly worrying is that the subject of negotiations are security services as well. They must not be a subject in negotiations, because one of the fundamental principles should be their independence. Instead of insisting on the complete de-politicization of the security services, they have become political spoils and a fortress which must be conquered at all costs. It is a danger for society and for every Croatian citizen.

According to statements of the coalition partners, we should soon have a government and the new prime minister. Without prejudice to the financial expertise and goodwill of the future PM, I am not sure how much he will be able to take advantage of it. For the sake of the country, I wish him well. But, everything that has happened so far does not give me grounds for optimism. Our attitude towards the government will depend on its composition and program, which is not yet even remotely known. However, past events do not leave us a lot of space…”, wrote Prgomet.


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