SDP Divisions Deepen

Total Croatia News

The party’s MPs have called on party president Davor Bernardić to resign.

Internal divisions which have been present in SDP, Croatia’s largest opposition party, for many months have deepened over the last few days, with several prominent members of Parliament calling on party president Davor Bernadić to resign. One of those MPs, Milanka Opačić, who until recently was Deputy Speaker of Parliament, commented on recent events, reports N1 on September 21, 2017.

“Obviously, all that has been simmering below the surface in the past few months has now come into the open. People have long been dissatisfied with how the party is run, how it operates on the political scene. We have lost the authority, we have no opinion about issues the citizens care about,” said Opačić.

She was not surprised by a recent move by Peđa Grbin, who was the first to call on SDP president Davor Bernardić to resign. “Grbin is a person who has defended our position in public, and then this positioned changed overnight thanks to Bernardić’s statement. Citizens have to know why our position has changed,” said Opačić, referring to the issue of whether SDP will demand the establishment of a parliamentary commission of inquiry for Agrokor in return for its support for the election of new members of the Constitutional Court. SDP has changed its position on the issue several times, and it is currently not clear what that position is.

She also explained how SDP had found itself in this crisis. “Bernardić is a product of other people who did not dare to run themselves, so they nominated him instead, primarily of Rajko Ostojić and Zlatko Komadina. Bernardić has brought us to the situation that we have to ask for his resignation or demand a session of the party convention where we will try to dismiss him,” said Opačić.

“Party leadership is not functioning, and this is the fundamental problem for the party. When there are no leaders, precise positions and clear messages, then SDP’s popularity among voters declines,” she added.

Asked about possible further scenarios, Opačić said there were not a lot of scenarios possible because the party statutes are unambiguous. “We must find five county organisations which have to demand the dismissal of the party president. However, it would be wiser for Bernardić to resign himself because he has several times experienced defeat in some of his positions, which SDP could not accept,” said Opačić, who was a close associate of former party president and Prime Minister Zoran Milanović.

“This is not some small number of people. This is almost the majority of people in our parliamentary group, and many party members and voters share this view. When Bernardić says that we are trying to hide something, I would like to know who is hiding what. If he does not explain it, I will start thinking he is intentionally working for another party,” said Opačić.

She concluded that it was impossible to pose questions to Bernardić during meetings of the party presidency. “We cannot ask him anything. He just sits there, usually reading messages on his phone or reading newspapers,” said Opačić.

Translated from N1.


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