SDP Wants Left Parties to Unite on One Presidential Candidate

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, June 4, 2019 – Social Democratic Party (SDP) leader Davor Bernardić said on Monday that his party wanted the entire left to unite on the SDP’s candidate in the next presidential election, stressing that the recent election for the European Parliament showed that changes could not be effected without the SDP.

In an interview with Croatian Radio, Bernardić said that last week the SDP launched consultations on its candidate for the presidential elections, who is expected to be selected by July 15. The next presidential election is expected to be held by the end of the year.

Bernardić would not say if the candidate would be chosen in intra-party elections as the previous ones nor would he go public with any names.

He just said that possible preliminary elections would be discussed in the case if there were more good candidates and that the party statute made it possible for party supporters to vote for the party’s candidate in presidential elections.

“There are two key criteria for the presidential candidate – their readiness to fight and their chances for a victory,” Bernardić said, adding that in the recent EU election he saw great strength and potential in the parties that could gather around the SDP, announcing that he would talk to everyone and wished the entire left to unite on the SDP’s presidential candidate.

“We are aware that our result alone is not sufficient to effect changes in Croatia but it does restore hope that changes are possible,” he said, noting that the SDP’s having won four seats in the European Parliament, one more than expected, had restored optimism and trust in the SDP and in social democracy in Croatia.

He said the party’s slate included current Social Democrat members of the European Parliament Biljana Borzan and Tonino Picula, who, he said, had fought for equality in the EP, demonstrating their commitment to citizens.

“I believe that the turbulence in the SDP is over. There is a lot of work ahead, already tomorrow we will present our bill for a wage increase under which increasing the non-taxable income from 3,800 to 5,000 kuna would result in a pay rise of between 330 kuna and 500 kuna, which we will discuss in the parliament next week. We will also insist on raising the minimum wage to 4,000 kuna,” said Bernardić, announcing that the SDP would soon present its ten-year development plan for the region of Slavonia and a set of anti-corruption laws.

Asked whether an earlier decision to suspend four party presidency members for two years would be reconsidered, Bernardić said that he would like to be a party leader who brings people together but that communication has to go both ways.

“The (EP) election has shown that support for the party’s statute is necessary and the suspensions will be discussed by the Main Committee. Making the sanctions less strict requires the good will of the four suspended officials and an awareness that a mistake was made in the process,” Bernardić said, adding that he was optimistic regarding the four officials’ good will.

More SDP news can be found in the Politics section.


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