Karamarko Planning a Return to Politics?

Total Croatia News

Former HDZ president Tomislav Karamarko announced that he might found a think tank.

“At this time, Karamarko has no serious plans to return to politics, because it is unrealistic. However, his announcement that he plans to establish an institute for public policy represents his desire to stay in Croatia’s public life”, claim sources quoted by Jutarnji List on March 11, 2017.

Sources confirm that Karamarko so far has no plans to take part in presidential election which are still quite far away. “He is an objective person, aware that his popularity among citizens is low, and without the support from the people it is impossible to win elections. Therefore, the institute he is talking about in his posts on social networks would be a place to sent political messages, but not as a direct stakeholder in Croatian politics”, said a source.

After long silence, during which former HDZ president and Deputy Prime Minister Karamarko posted messages only rarely, Karamarko recently visited London and Washington and announced that he would found a think-tank. “I am infused with enthusiasm more than ever before”, wrote Karamarko after the talks in the United States with Senator Roger Wicker and Representatives Mike Conaway, David Price, Eliot Engel and Kay Granger.

Karamarko himself noted that he was “absent from politics”, and sources say that this will continue. “Everything else is unrealistic, because Karamarko is aware that HDZ is doing fine at the moment and that any attack on the party could be misunderstood. It is not realistic at this time to think about founding a new party, but he obviously wishes for the think-tank to become a focal point for centre-right”.

“Through the think-tank, he would be able to develop some business projects, and Karamarko has already used some of the connections he has. It is not particularly surprising that he was received by prominent US politicians because his CV is respectable, whatever people in Croatia think about him as a politician. Everybody who knows him is aware that he is a political person and that he cannot easily accept that he is doing nothing and just watching what is happening in the country”, said a source.

Some sources close to HDZ say that Karamarko’s comeback is focused on attempts to destabilize the current party leadership, especially HDZ president and Prime Minister Andrej Plenković. Karamarko reportedly expressed his support for Željko Kerum as a candidate for mayor of Split, in order to destabilize HDZ’s candidate Andro Krstulović Opara, whose victory in Split is very important for the party in the upcoming local elections.

“It seems that this is naive, because local elections are not crucial for Plenković’s rating. After all, it is common for the party in power to have bad results at local elections, but in this case it is not impossible that HDZ could ultimately achieve quite a good result”, said the source. “The only certainty is that Karamarko wants to somehow remain in the public arena, and the establishment of an institute is a great opportunity. It is difficult to predict what will happen then, just like it is difficult to predict how the political situation in Croatia will develop”, concluded the source.


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