Petrov: “With this last move, HDZ is definitely out of the game”
And just when you thought the never-ending episode of “Game of Thrones” a.k.a. Croatian elections could not come up with any new twists, they go and prove us wrong. Again. A second meeting was scheduled on December 19, 2015 where all three party presidents (and that would be Zoran Milanović, Božo Petrov and Tomislav Karamarko) were supposed to iron out the details and announce the name of the prime-minister designate, and president of HDZ, Tomislav Karamarko decided leave just 10 minutes in.
Karamarko said he could not sign the document MOST was asking both parties to sign and hence decided to leave and let MOST and SDP continue with negotiations if they want to: ” We believe this document is a messy and confusing coalition contract in which no mechanisms re set and there are too many unknowns. It all comes down to how to split the loot, distribute seats in public companies etc” he stated for HINA and confirmed few minutes later on Twitter.
At the same time, as reported by 24sata.hr, MOST and SDP continued on with the meeting and according to the statements given by Milanović and Petrov after the meeting was concluded, it seems that Croatia will not be facing another election since the two parties will continue with their negotiations. “I hope we will have a designate Prime Minister by Tuesday” said Božo Petrov stressing that HDZ is definitely out of the race now and that Most is still insisting that the designate Prime Minister be someone from their party or a non-party person. Zoran Milanović shortly stated that SDP will insist that Prime Minister Delegate should be Božo Petrov. He followed his live statement with a Facebook post “We are starting negotiations about the forming of new Croatian government in good faith. We’re optimistic. There’s no going back to our old ways”.
But don’t put the popcorn away just yet. Since we know SDP was asked back into the negotiations even though they turned down MOST just few days ago, maybe MOST will do the same with HDZ. And given that Alex Brown (SDP’s PR consultant) came back to Zagreb yesterday, and there are reports HDZ is working hard on finishing new ballots with some new names on them, we won’t dismiss new elections. By now we know to expect the unexpected.