Elections for new party leader will take place on 17 July.
HDZ presidency met on Monday afternoon to discuss the details of the election of a new party president under the “one member one vote” principle, reports Index.hr on June 27, 2016.
Before the meeting, deputy party president Milijan Brkić said that they would also discuss the forthcoming parliamentary elections. One of the members of the presidency, leader of HDZ in Lika-Senj County Darko Milinović, refused to say whether he would stand for party president. “I will make the decision when the time comes, but I can tell you that those who want to compare new HDZ president with Zoran Milanović, the worst prime minister in Croatian history, in that way insult presidents of all municipal, city and county party branches, become I am sure that they can all defeat the worst prime minister,” said Milinović.
“On the other hand, Milanović is a warrior for his SDP, and we must have our own warrior for HDZ. They say that Milanović can gather more parties around him, but I can talk more honestly than him and be more open towards ethnic minorities, to my friends in IDS and HDSSB”, said Milinović. Foreign Minister Miro Kovač and Culture Minister Zlatko Hasanbegović also declined to say whether they intended to stand as candidates for party president.
After the meeting ended, HDZ deputy president Milijan Brkić said that HDZ at the moment still did not have a candidate for the new president. He added that a special working group for parliamentary elections was formed, headed by MEP Ivana Maletić. “We have formed a group in order to make decisions in the party bodies, and to widen the circle of people making decisions”, said Brkić.
Brkić added that they were open to talks with all parties belonging to the Patriotic Coalition. “We will try to go to the polls in a coalition which will guarantee the best possible result. We are open to talks with all the parties of the Patriotic Coalition, and we might add some more parties.”
He also spoke about the way candidates for Parliament would be chosen. “The president will be first among equals. Local branches will propose candidates, and the National Council will determine how the candidate lists will look like”, explained Brkić.
Although MEP Andrej Plenković has recently been mentioned as the favourite to become the new party president, Brkić said they still did not have a single official candidate. “Candidates are collecting signatures. So far, we only have people who have said they want to be a candidate. Whoever is elected, they will lead the party in the elections and win.” He did not rule out the possibility that he himself might become a candidate. “I will tell you by the end of the week whether I will be a candidate”, said Brkić, adding that he gave his signature of support to all candidates who have asked him to.
Minister of Regional Development and EU Funds Tomislav Tolušić confirmed he would not stand for party president. He said he would not endorse anyone until all the candidates are known. Transport Minister Oleg Butković also said he would not stand.