Plenković Claims Elections Were Obstructed from Within HDZ

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, June 5, 2019 – Prime Minister and Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) leader Andrej Plenković said on Tuesday evening that there were numerous indications that the recent election for the European Parliament had been obstructed within the HDZ.

Speaking to reporters after a session of the HDZ parliamentary group, Plenković said that there were numerous indications of obstruction but he did not give a specific answer when asked if individual HDZ branches would be dissolved because the party fared less well in the election than it had expected. “We will analyse everything in detail and determine measures to consolidate the party and win the next election,” he said.

Plenković answered in the negative when asked if at the session of the HDZ parliamentary group he talked with his deputy Milijan Brkić whom he had criticised for not having been sufficiently involved in the recent election campaign. “No, I saw him at today’s meeting of representatives of the parliamentary majority. When the time comes and when the analysis is completed, we will talk,” said Plenković.

When asked what the head of the HDZ’s election campaign, Robert Kopal, was referring to when he said that there had been sabotage in the party just before the EU election, Plenković repeated that the HDZ was not satisfied with the election result as it had expected to win five seats in the European Parliament and that according to all parameters, it should have won those five seats.

Plenković believes that the party’s results in a number of counties were below expectations and even below the expectations of the party’s county branches. He said that analyses and reports from the field were being gathered and that they would be studied over the next week. After that, party bodies will hold meetings to see if mistakes were made and where, he said.

As for the pension reform, Plenković said that almost all members of the parliamentary majority, including the HDZ parliamentary group, supported the pension reform, stressing that it was one of the incumbent government’s most successful reforms that had also helped improve Croatia’s credit rating.

“A large majority of members of the parliamentary majority, practically all, including the HDZ group, have supported the pension reform and there are no dilemmas about it,” he said when asked if the session of the HDZ parliamentary group had also discussed the pension reform.

Asked what he thought of coalition partner Milorad Pupovac’s having voted for the pension reform laws and afterwards signing a union petition for a referendum on the pension reform, Plenković said that he would meet with union representatives for talks and that the pension reform had been prepared for a very long time and very thoroughly as well as that several rounds of consultation on it had been held by the parliamentary majority and among experts.

“What we voted in at the end of last December was based on a firm consensus and full confidence that we are carrying out a good structural reform and support it. There are no dilemmas about that whatsoever,” he said.

Asked to comment on demands by the leader of the Labour and Solidarity Party and Zagreb Mayor, Milan Bandić, that he fire Science and Education Minister Blaženka Divjak, Plenković recalled that the government last Friday issued a statement on the financing of textbooks for mandatory and elective subjects.

“As far as we are concerned, the law is clear and internationally assumed obligations are clear. We will find funds in the state budget to finance both groups of textbooks,” he said.

As for the demand that Divjak be replaced, Plenković said that the matter would be discussed by the inner circle of representatives of the parliamentary majority.

More HDZ news can be found in the Politics section.


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