In a statement, controversial Culture Minister explains his reasons.
Minister of Culture and member of HDZ presidency Zlatko Hasanbegović will not run for HDZ president. He issued a statement on Tuesday in which he explained his reasons, reports Jutarnji List on July 5, 2016.
“The elections for new HDZ president are taking place as a result of a series of political decisions, relationships and situations which I did not have any influence over, to which I have not contributed, and for which I bear no moral nor political responsibility. In the past six months, I remained distant from party affairs and was occupied with my ministerial duties, freed from any kind of party motives or limitations. I was and I remain grateful for that to my party HDZ, to Prime Minister Tihomir Orešković, and to colleagues from MOST.
I saw the political agreement between HDZ and MOST that gave rise to the Croatian government as a strategic political partnership between two parties which are, despite all differences, in ideological terms closely related and which had the task of deepening the mutual relations and long-term cooperation. Unfortunately, instead of responsible statesmanship on all sides there were narrow-mindedness and lack of long-term vision, which led to an unnecessary period of uncertainty, with the deepening of national apathy and social decay.
From the very beginning, due to my clearly articulated positions, I was exposed to yet unseen defamation campaign with the characteristics of hysteria, behind which stood ideological sectarianism and deeply rooted private interests. On the other hand, my actions were recognized as a renewal of authentic Croatian cultural and national positions, and I gained support in the country and in diaspora, as well as among HDZ members who gave me their huge confidence during the party congress. This unexpectedly led to the expectations of thousands of party members and supporters that I should run for HDZ president and take over that responsibility.
I have never announced my candidacy for HDZ president, so I cannot withdraw it in the name or to the benefit of another candidate. While making the final decision about my candidacy, I was led by the interests of HDZ and the effort to not in any way contribute to intraparty polarization and deepening of unfounded controversies about my actions, which would facilitate the return to power of Zoran Milanović and his party.
My conscience and the political-national responsibility were crucial in making the final decision that I will not in any way participate in the election of the new HDZ president. The elected candidate will have legitimacy and will enjoy my personal support, and we will judge him according to his actions and the vision that he will follow. To Andrej Plenković, I will best of luck, to have political wisdom to avoid the pitfalls posed by those who have never been guided by the national ideals and interests of HDZ, but by their specific objectives which have grown out of failed anti-Croatian heritage”, said Hasanbegović in his statement.
Since all the other potential candidates have already announced they would not run, and the deadline for the official submission of candidacies expires on Wednesday, it is expected that the only candidate for HDZ president will be MEP Andrej Plenković, who interestingly today met with the Archbishop of Zagreb, Cardinal Josip Bozanić.