HDZ holds meeting of party presidency, MOST leader makes another statement, and HSS leaves the Patriotic Coalition.
HDZ presidency held a four-hour session of its party Presidency on Saturday. The Presidency discussed the tactics that the party should adopt after yesterday’s demand by Prime Minister Tihomir Orešković to deputy prime ministers Tomislav Karamarko and Božo Petrov to resign, report Index.hr and Večernji List on June 4, 2016.
The Presidency decided to demand resignation of the Prime Minister. If Orešković does not resign, HDZ will initiative a motion of no confidence against him in Parliament. Sources claim that the meeting was quite eventful, with several members of the Presidency demanding Karamarko’s responsibility for the situation in which the party finds itself. However, the majority of the Presidency members decided at the end to support the party president.
After the meeting, Karamarko gave a statement confirming that HDZ would demand Orešković’s resignation. “We have concluded that we have good position to initiative a coalition reshuffle in Parliament. We will demand Orešković’s resignation, and we will talk with our people in Parliament about his possible dismissal”, said Karamarko.
“I have not spoken with Orešković since Thursday, but I will probably hear from him today. At today’s meeting, no one asked about my responsibility, nor was there any discussion about whether I should leave the government. We did not vote about that, HDZ has already made too many concessions, we cannot continue like that. It would not make sense for Orešković to lead HDZ and MOST’s government without leaders of the two parties”, continued Karamarko.
“It is possible that the vote on Orešković’s dismissal will happen before the vote on my dismissal. Grand coalition with SDP is not an option at the moment”, added Karamarko. “It is possible that ministers might resign, however, they should for now continue doing their jobs as if nothing was happening”, said Karamarko.
“I have received the support of the party to lead the reshuffle initiative. Deputy party president Milijan Brkić did not criticize me , he just discussed what would happen if I were to step down and what would that mean for the party”, reiterated Karamarko.
In the meantime, MOST leader Božo Petrov gave his statement in Metković. “Croatia is today in a difficult position only because of one person, the person who represents a burden, and that is Karamarko who bears the political responsibility. I hope that HDZ, as a democratic party, will recognize that political responsibility. If Karamarko would even want to go into the reshuffle with MOST, we would never agree to it. It is up to the conscience of anyone who would try to save Karamarko in Parliament”, concluded Petrov.
Also on Saturday, Croatian Peasants’ Party (HSS), which is a minor member of the Patriotic Coalition, decided to leave the coalition and restart negotiations with its members about defining new relationship. However, it is not certain that its two MPs will respect the official party position. Newly-elected party president Krešo Beljak is widely seen as being closer to SDP than HDZ, and it is quite possible that in the event of early parliamentary elections HSS could cross over to the left-centre coalition.