“Even we did not really expect that it would be demonstrated so soon than Prime Minister-Designate Tihomir Tim Orešković is actually not important in this whole story”, said
one SDP official on January 1, 2016, commenting on the fact that Orešković’s idea of introducing the so-called Canadian model of healthcare system has been sharply opposed by both his coalition partners, the probable future Health Minister Ante Ćorušić (HDZ) and MOST.
In recent days, high-ranking SDP members said that Orešković will be only a “secondary player” in the future. SDP president and outgoing Prime Minister Zoran Milanović has also repeatedly talked about him in a similar vein.
In addition to questioning Orešković’s legitimacy to form a government, since he did not participate in the elections and his name was not even mentioned until just a few days ago, Milanović suggested that Orešković will not actually be making decisions about anything. “We will treat him as an HDZ man, which he is, but we will not give him importance which he does not have. Our political opponents are still Tomislav Karamarko and HDZ. It makes no sense to waste energy on Orešković”, said one SDP member talking about the future political strategy of his party in the new Parliament.
The public is eagerly awaiting the first Prime Minister’s Questions for the new PM, to see how Orešković, who does not know the Croatian society and politics well and who is not fluent in Croatian, can cope in the political arena. But, SDP members of parliament will probably ignore him. “We have not made any decision, since it is too early for that, but it is possible that we will not ask Orešković a single question”, the SDP official said.
During previous governments, there were times when the main opposition party would deliberately ignore a current PM during Prime Minister’s Questions. It happened to Ivo Sanader, Jadranka Kosor and Zoran Milanović. But, never before has a Prime Minister been continuously ignored.
Although SDP feels betrayed by MOST, which resulted in an open expression of anger from some of their representatives towards the MOST leader Božo Petrov, the party will not be in their long-term focus. “MOST is not our opponent. Of course, it is impossible to prevent what happened Monday when one SDP Member of Parliament said to Petrov in passing that he was a liar. However, MOST will not be in our focus of interest. Who knows what will happen to them in the future”, concluded an SDP source.