The right-wing party gives HDZ 48 hours to decide whether they want to continue their cooperation.
While parties gathered around the SDP-led People’s Coalition have already signed a coalition agreement and determined the distribution of their candidates on electoral lists, HDZ is just staring discussion whether they will assemble a broader coalition in the right-wing part of the political spectrum or whether they will go to the polls with far fewer partners than eight months ago. At the time, the Patriotic Coalition was comprised of eight parties. However, one of them, HSS, has already crossed over to the People’s Coalition, reports Novi List on July 20, 2016.
From the moment when Tomislav Karamarko resigned as HDZ president, the party unofficially claimed that they would certainly not repeat their coalition with HRAST, and that the cooperation with HSP-AS was in doubt due to the party’s leadership, party president Ivan Tepeš and secretary general Pero Ćorić, who might be too radical if HDZ wants to pick up more votes in the political centre.
However, both HSP-AS and HRAST say that HDZ leadership did start discussions with them about future cooperation even before the election of Andrej Plenković for HDZ president, but that no details have been discussed until the party elected its new president. “We spoke with deputy HDZ president Milijan Brkić and other officials, but we could not agree on anything specific. Now, there are new people in these talks. We will see what they offer and decide whether it is acceptable to us. HDZ has 48 hours to decide if they want to continue cooperation in the Patriotic Coalition or not”, said Ćorić.
On the remark that this cooperation could be problematic because he and Tepeš are allegedly too radical, Ćorić responded that no one would impose condition on HSP-AS. “The Patriotic Coalition, without HSS, will continue with HDZ or without them, and we will continue to fight for national interests. HDZ must soon decide whether they would join us, fight for national interests and prevent the return of Communists to power. If they do not want us, they can together with HSLS promote liberal and European values, and the Patriotic Coalition will continue without HDZ”, said Ćorić.
In the event that HDZ chooses a different path, HSP-AS has other potential partners, the Croatian Christian Democratic Party, BUZ, HRAST, and others. “Without us, HDZ certainly cannot achieve victory at the elections”, said Ćorić. Asked whether there was a possibility of bringing together all the various parties of rights which exist in Croatia, Ćorić said that HSP-AS was the only such party in Croatia which mattered, so there was no need to bring in other parties.