Selection of ministers by new Prime Minister Plenković has caused dissatisfaction in HDZ’s rightwing circles.
“All those who think that former Culture Minister Zlatko Hasanbegović will now, when he lost his ministerial position, immediately start attacking HDZ are wrong. He will continue to do his job as an MP and will wait for the right moment. He will make the move only when the conditions are met”, said a source close to the former minister who believes that until then Hasanbegović will work on strengthening his position within the party and on gathering like-minded party members, reports Jutarnji List on October 21, 2016.
“If he felt that the moment was right, he would have run at intra-party elections as a rival to Andrej Plenković. However, he decided otherwise, respecting the agreement within the party there would be only one candidate for party president”, said the source. He also pointed out Hasanbegović’s behaviour on Thursday during the handover of duties to new Culture Minister Nina Obuljen, when he demonstrated that he would respect “the rules of the game”.
“Everyone expected a drama at the Ministry, but he welcomed Obuljen with a bouquet of flowers. However, he will not abandon his political platform and that does not mean that he will not continue to criticize Obuljen. He will publicly express his views, regardless whether somebody likes it or not”, said a HDZ member who is close to the former minister. It is believed that Hasanbegović will not always support HDZ’s proposals in Parliament. “He will not be Plenković’s ‘yes-man’”, said the source.
Similar behaviour is expected from another rightwing MP Bruna Esih, Hasanbegović’s close ally and friend, who yesterday published a post on Facebook in which she criticized the new Prime Minister Plenković and his decision to replace Hasangeović with Obuljen, who is a much more moderate person. But, despite this, Esih does not intend to leave the HDZ Parliamentary Club, although her yesterday’s post prompted speculation that Željko Glasnović, an independent MP who used to be a member of HDZ, could form a parliamentary group with Esih, Hasanbegović, and maybe several other far-right MPs.
According to unofficial information, Glasnović still does not have enough MPs which are needed for him to form his own parliamentary group, but he allegedly hopes to convince Esih to join him.