Although it is widely expected that MOST would choose HDZ over SDP as a coalition partner after the elections, there are other options as well.
“HDZ president Plenković will eventually lose his patience, and he will not allow MOST to constantly criticize us. He will not keep silent forever”, said a source from HDZ leadership, which has been sending mixed messaged to MOST in recent days, reports Jutarnji List on August 22, 2016.
HDZ vice president Ivana Maletić said in a recent interview that “the government would be strongest if HDZ could form it by itself, without MOST”, and the same day HSLS president Darinko Kosor, who is in an unofficial coalition with HDZ, announced that “Plenković will be the prime minister and he will form the government with MOST”. Kosor alluded to claims by MOST that their candidate for prime minister was their leader Božo Petrov. MOST reacted negatively to Kosor’s statement. “That is just Kosor’s wish.”
“There are no secret negotiations between Petrov and Plenković. Everybody is now fighting for votes”, said a source from HDZ leadership. Although MOST claims that they will not cooperate with SDP president Zoran Milanović, they are not so sure about SDP as a whole. “Milanović is an unpredictable politician, you never know what he will do”, said a source from MOST and added that they were not sure whether new HDZ president Plenković actually had the real power within his party. “On the other hand, SDP has recently changed its attitude towards MOST.”
Plenković does not want to publicly comment on situation with MOST, but unofficially he is not particularly pleased with their statements in which they claim he is similar to Milanović. “He is not glad about it, but he will not enter into public arguments”, said the source. “They are immature, with limited knowledge, they are just not able to operate in national politics. It is very difficult to do anything with them”, said the HDZ source, adding that this time they would certainly insist on the position of prime minister.
“HDZ leadership is comprised of the same people who were in Karamarko’s HDZ and supported his decisions. What is the difference between Plenković and Milanović”, asked a MOST source, adding that they were equally distant from both major parties.
If after the elections both HDZ and SDP conclude that it is too difficult to negotiate and cooperate with MOST, Croatia could get its first grand coalition. While it sounds quite improbable at the moment, the possibility that a government in Croatia could be brought down and early parliamentary elections called was equally improbable just a few months ago.