HDZ Hopes to Lure HSS into Ruling Coalition

Total Croatia News

Both HDZ and HSS are members of the European People’s Party.

In the next seven days, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković’s focus will be on the attempt to lure 5 MPs from HSS, who were elected to Parliament on the list of the SDP-led People’s Coalition. “HSS is our natural ally and we are together in the European People’s Party. Everyone who wants good for Croatia should be reasonable. Four ministries and seven state secretary positions are free, so they should think about it,” said Josip Đakić, a member of the HDZ presidency, reports Jutarnji List on May 25, 2017.

“Is that what they are offering us? To HSS? Who said that?” replied HSS president Krešo Beljak, surprised when he heard Đakić’s statement.

HSS leader Beljak said later that he was glad that Đakić had changed his opinion about HSS in just a month. “In his Virovitica-Podravina county, HSS co-operated with HDZ for eight years. Before these local elections, we wanted to renew that co-operation, but HDZ did not want it, so Đakić has now pleasantly surprised me,” said Beljak, adding that they are SDP’s partners, but adding immediately that “new elections are not a good solution.”

“We will most likely have early parliamentary elections,” said Beljak, pointing out that it would not be his party’s fault. When asked if they were in negotiations with HDZ, Beljak answered, “We talk to all parties.” Similarly, Đakić accepted the possibility of early parliamentary elections being called and added that HDZ was also ready for that option.

Rumours from HDZ are that, if they do opt for new elections, the elections could be organized as early as mid-July, perhaps on 16 July. “The day after the second round of local elections which is to be held on 4 June, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković has to say whether there is a new majority or whether there will be early parliamentary elections,” said a source close to the HDZ leadership, while adding that “the mood is that everyone is running away from new elections and is looking for 80 votes in the Parliament.”

“The majority in HDZ supports a coalition reshuffle. I also expect there will be a wider reconstruction of the government, instead of just the four missing ministers being appointed,” said the source. “The chances for new elections are still 50-50. It is difficult to tell who is negotiating with whom, because of course no one wants to talk publicly about it. But, Plenković will have to know soon because there is no more time.”

Plenković also said he would talk with independent MPs Bruna Esih and Zlatko Hasanbegović on this topic, but Esih says there have been no discussions yet. “This is the third or the fourth time that Plenković publicly said that he would call us, but that has not happened yet.”

Unofficially, HDZ has for now decided against negotiations with liberal HNS, because they believe it might cause a schism within the party, so they are not sure on how many MPs they could really count.


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