Tomislav Karamarko had to change plans and accept Brkić as his deputy.
Milijan Brkić, the current HDZ secretary general, will be the only candidate for HDZ deputy president at the forthcoming party congress, reports Jutarnji List on April 29, 2016.
However, the drama about who will submit candidacy for which post lasted until the very last moment, since the final deadline for submissions was 10 am yesterday morning. Brkić submitted his candidacy at the very last minute, without no one knowing what was his final decision – whether he would be a candidate for deputy president, or for one of party vice presidents, as it had been advised to him in the last few days through the media by “sources close to Karamarko”.
“Karamarko wants to have Brkić as a party vice president, and to have Damir Jelić as his deputy”, Karamarko’s close associates were saying, which many party members understood as a message to Brkić that he should give up on his candidacy to be deputy president, which is a more prominent position than party vice president. But, Brkić decided to play it to the end. “If he acted otherwise, he would have disappointed many of his supporters in the party”, said yesterday several of the more prominent HDZ members.
Brkić’s decision not to give up on his candidacy brought new problems to Karamarko. He had to ask Damir Jelić, who was his candidate for deputy president, to withdraw the candidacy because he would have no chance in the clash against Brkić, but also because it was necessary to cover up tensions and discontent in the party. Therefore Jelić lost the candidacy, but it is likely that he will be proposed by Karamarko to be the new party secretary general.
Sources from HDZ say that Karamarko opposed Brkić’s candidacy to the very end and that he tried to persuade Brkić to be party vice president instead. On Wednesday, the two of them allegedly held a three hour meeting. However, in the end it was Karamarko who had to surrender.
Due to strained relations between Karamarko and Brkić, the election for members of the Presidency is now seen as a struggle of two sides – Karamarko’s and Brkić’s. According to current estimates, it seems that Brkić will have greater support when delegates meet at the party congress in late May. “We must wait until after the elections in local party organizations are over and then everything will be clear”, said one HDZ member.
“Now everything is inconclusive, and we expect there will be a variety of alliances, both logical and illogical, conceivable and inconceivable, lobbying, changing sides… The results will be uncertain until the end”, say many in HDZ.