MOST Meets With SDP and HDZ, Consultations President Fail to Bring Breakthrough

Total Croatia News

It was a day of big political meetings but little progress.

Leaders of MOST met yesterday at noon with leaders of SDP’s Croatia Is Growing Coalition and HDZ’s Patritic Coalition. The meeting was open for press and was carried live on national television. Božo Petrov, president of MOST, called on large coalitions to jointly elect a non-partisan candidate for the post of prime minister. He also suggested that one of the coalitions would have the post of first deputy prime minister, while the other would have the post of speaker of the parliament. After two years, they would switch positions. MOST would have the post of second deputy prime minister. Petrov said he expected replies by the two coalitions within seven days, reports Novilist and Vecernji List on December 8, 2015.

Karamarko described the proposal as “unjust”, while Milanović proposed that the Parliament should be officially inaugurated for five minutes and then immediately dissolved, since that is the only way new elections can be held. However, they did not explicitly reject Petrov’s proposal.

“We think you need to have the responsibility for one-third of the ministries, with one-sixth belonging to MOST and one-sixth to independent experts. The committees, bodies and agencies would be agreed among all three parties”, Petrov explained.

Petrov’s proposal to elect a non-partisan prime minister was met with disapproval by the leaders of SDP and HDZ. “The position of prime minister is the most responsible position in the country. Therefore, to say that it should be a joint candidate after a month of our negotiations, you should have told us that immediately”, Milanović said, adding that he believed it was unlikely that the proposed model could be successful. Karamarko said the proposal was unjust stressing that his Patriotic Coalition with its 59 seats was the relative winner of parliamentary elections. “As far as I am concerned, we can talk about everything. I think this is not fair, but we will talk about it”, Karamarko said.

Milanović insisted that he personally has no mandate to make such a decision, adding that he needed time to convene party meetings. He said that governments in other countries are sometimes formed during much longer periods. “It has been only a month, we have economic growth and things are not so bad. We are not in a state of war. Time is important, but not decisive at this point”, Milanović said. He also gave his own condition. “We cannot go into coalition with any political entity which has in its ranks people who are officially charged with criminal offenses”, Milanović concluded.

The meeting lasted for about an hour without any clear conclusions being reached. SDP will hold a meeting of its Main Committee on Saturday, while HDZ announced there would be a meeting of its party Presidency, but that they will also ask for another separate meeting with MOST to receive some clarifications. However, it is not expected that any of the parties will accept MOST’s proposals. It is more likely that they are going to try to reach a separate agreement with MOST or some part of it.

Croatian President Kolinda Grabar Kitarović held a second round of official consultations yesterday. She met with leaders of all parties which have been elected to parliament to see whether anyone has enough support to be named prime minister-designate. However, as expected, no one was able to prove to have the support of 76 members of parliament, which is needed for the majority. The only difference from last week is the fact that Stipe Petrina has since left MOST and now as an independent MP said he would probably support SDP’s Croatia Is Growing coalition.

After the consultations, the President said that she “will insist on full implementation of the constitutional provisions for granting the status of prime minister-designate, who needs to have the support of a majority of all the members of parliament. I resolutely reject any kind of pressure”. She stressed that “still no one has the necessary majority of all MPs” and that the third round of consultations will be held next week.


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