New Government Without MOST – Is It Possible?

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Can HDZ or SDP form a government without MOST?

The only certainty on the eve of the early parliamentary elections in September is that neither SDP nor HDZ will be able to form the new government alone and that it will be necessary for them to find coalition partners. It is impossible to predict the outcome of the elections, in particular the number of seats in Parliament for so-called “third options” – MOST, Živi Zid and Zagreb Mayor Milan Bandić’s party. However, it is precisely the result of these and similar parties which will be the key factor that will influence the composition of the new government, reports Večernji List on August 19, 2016.

Assuming that it will again be the strongest among third options, MOST will again be the key player in coalition negotiations. In other words, it is probable that without them no one will be able to muster the necessary majority to form a stable government. Although 76 MPs are needed for a government to be confirmed in Parliament, for stable governing it is necessary to have about 80 MPs at the minimum.

According to latest polls, MOST can expect to receive about ten percent of votes. The two largest parties are well aware of that, and it is evident that they will not base their campaign on attacking MOST. Although MOST, just like ahead of the last year’s elections, campaigns by attacking both SDP and HDZ and alluding to a possibility of the grand coalition, many believe that HDZ is in a better position, since in recent months it has become clear that MOST’s worldview is closer to centre-right HDZ than to centre-left SDP.

“I believe that SDP will get more votes, but HDZ has an advantage because MOST will join forces with them. What we are not able to predict is whether MOST will win a similar number of seats like in the last elections, or much less, which would mean that HDZ and MOST would not have enough for a stable majority”, said political analyst Žarko Puhovski.

The problem for both parties could also be a potential success of Živi Zid and his coalition partners, since Živi Zid president Ivan Vilibor Sinčić has repeatedly stressed that they will not form a coalition with major parties and will remain in opposition. “Živi Zid is closer to SDP, but any possible coalition would be short-lived. Another problem are the new coalition partners of Živi Zid, the party called Let’s Change Croatia, which is closer to HDZ, so there could be a division in the coalition, just like we saw after the last year’s elections with MOST”, said Puhovski.

Puhovski does not believe that Bandić could win more than five seats in Parliament. “Bandić supported the government of HDZ and MOST, but he could just as easily support SDP’s government as well. Some of the smaller parties will also enter Parliament, like IDS which already said they could form a coalition with SDP, then HDSSB, as well as eight minority representatives”, said Puhovski. “I do not think that the next government will be stable and I expect that another elections will follow soon. Only then we can expect the possibility of the grand coalition between SDP and HDZ”, concluded Puhovski.


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