SDP Tries to Expand Its Coalition

Total Croatia News

Ruling SDP party in coalition talks. 

In the next two weeks, the agreement on the election coalition led by SDP will certainly not be signed. It was previously planned that the leaders of the SDP, HNS, HUS and the Croatian Labour Party would put their signatures to the agreement at the end of July, but that was postponed in anticipation of what will IDS decide. SDP calculates that IDS could eventually decide to stay in the coalition, and in the meantime, some other possible partners have emerged. One is PGS, whose President Dario Vasilić had a long talk last Sunday with prime minister Zoran Milanović, reports Novi List on August 7, 2015.

Vasilić reportedly expressed his interest to join the centre-left coalition, which would mean that his party would receive one safe parliament seat on the electoral list in the eighth constituency. However, just one day later, political secretary of PGS Franjo Butorac and honorary president of the party Nikola Ivaniš have virtually declined the SDP’s offer. Butorac said that they do not wish to sell themselves in exchange for giving up on their commitment to regionalization, which is opposed by Milanović. SDP estimates that Vasilić’s opinion could eventually prevail in PGS. However, currently it is more likely that the coalition will be widened with two parties that have been formed by former members of HSS – Authentic Croatian Peasant Party and the Croatian Democratic Peasant Party. SDP vice-president Gordan Maras, together with their presidents Stanko Grčić and Ivan Martan, will today lay a wreath at the tomb of Stjepan Radić on the occasion of the 87th anniversary of his death.

“We have already worked with these people while they were in HSS. At that time, HSS was a strong party, and now it has been reduced to just one member of parliament. It is entirely possible that these two parties will have a number of candidates on the electoral lists of our coalition”, a senior SDP official said yesterday.

Grčić, a long-time general secretary of HSS who left the party in February this year, said that he was delighted that SDP has accepted his invitation to join him in laying a wreath at the tomb of Radić. “That is a proof that they respect one of the three most important Croatian politicians of the 20th century. After the wreath laying ceremony we will have a meeting of the party presidency and there I will open the debate on the pre-election coalition with SDP.”

Grčić is convinced that both his party and the coalition would profit from the cooperation. “We could fill in the holes that SDP and their current partners have. They do not have a program for rural areas and agriculture, and I think that our name alone is worth a certain number of votes. When the two party blocks are so close, nine thousand members of our party could be decisive”, said Grčić. He also explained that the entire city organization of HSS, dissatisfied with their president Branko Hrg, have crossed over to his party. “HSS now has only ten thousand members. Hrg is not up to his role. Our goal is to unite all five parties that have stemmed from HSS and to return them to the political position they deserve”, said Grčić.


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