Ivan Vrdoljak Returns as HNS President

Total Croatia News

Six months after resigning, Vrdoljak returns to his old post.

On Sunday, Ivan Vrdoljak was again elected as president of the Croatian People’s Party-Liberal Democrats (HNS), six months after resigning his post due to the party’s initial decision to refuse to enter into a coalition with HDZ, reports tportal.hr on December 18, 2017.

He was the only candidate and received votes from 653 delegates, while 25 votes were invalid. Deputy Prime Minister and, until now, acting party president Predrag Štromar was elected as deputy president, while Marija Puh and Ivan Gulam are vice presidents.

“Today’s vote is a decision for Croatia’s new decisive policies, for the new decisive policies of HNS and for the people who will implement these policies,” said Vrdoljak, thanking his colleagues. He stressed that they had defined clear goals and projects and committed themselves to bringing better results to citizens. “Our policy is a policy of results and cooperation with everyone who can help us improve education, create new jobs, bring investors, accelerate judicial and administrative reforms. Our ultimate goal is the success of Croatia,” he said.

Speaking to members before voting, Vrdoljak presented the most important projects he will advocate: Croatia as a country of knowledge, the development of creative industries, the full realisation of the industrial strategy and putting people in the centre of his party’s policies. Stressing that he wanted HNS to continue the changes, to set new patterns and standards in politics, he added that the citizens already recognized them as advocates of new policies.

Talking about HNS’s decision earlier this year to switch sides, abandon SDP with whom they had entered the parliament, and enter into a coalition with HDZ, Vrdoljak said they had been called traitors and that they had sold themselves. “I am glad we broke up with people who put party interests above the state interests,” he said.

He stressed that it was not a wrong decision to enter the government and become HDZ’s partner because, as he pointed out, everything they did in the past six months confirms they had worked hard for Croatia’s benefit.

Vrdoljak also said that HNS would not allow the radicalisation of society. He emphasised that he supports all those who believe this is the time for modernisation and that there should be no divisions among people. “We have started a good job, I want to participate in it actively and I want to finish it,” he stressed.

The party conference was attended by Tomislav Saucha, a member of Parliament who has been accused of stealing money from the state budget while he was the chief of staff of former Prime Minister Zoran Milanović (SDP). After being briefly arrested earlier this year, Saucha left his party and controversially crossed sides in the Parliament, providing the crucial vote against the motion of no confidence against Finance Minister Zdravko Marić, when the government was on the brink of collapse.

Speaking on Sunday, Saucha, who is now an independent MP, welcomed Vrdoljak’s return to the post, saying it was good for the party and Croatia and announcing they would soon discuss whether he might also join HNS. “It is a good thing that Vrdoljak has returned to HNS. I think this will mean a lot to both the party and Croatia,” Saucha told reporters briefly.


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