Andrej Plenković to run for the HDZ presidency?
In a television interview on Sunday, Vladimir Šeks, a veteran HDZ member with vast political experience and the recently dismissed adviser to the Croatian president, openly gave his support to Andrej Plenković, a HDZ member of the European Parliament, to run for HDZ president at the intraparty elections which will take place in several months, reports Vecernji List on February 15, 2016.
After mentioning his name as a potential candidate for HDZ president, Šeks added that the final decision will be made by Plenković himself. In addition, Šeks confirmed that he would personally take part in the forthcoming intraparty elections, but not as a candidate for party president. Instead, he will run for some other party positions.
Since Šeks, who used to be a very influential member of the party leadership for more than 20 years, does not have his base among regular party members, his announcement could be interpreted as a way of possibly offering Plenković to nominate him for a position within the party, in return for Šeks’s support for Plenković to become the party president. Since Šeks has just been dismissed from the Presidential Office, the intraparty elections are a perfect opportunity for him to return to the political arena.
In the interview, Šeks said that Plenković was his good friend, and that he knows that Plenković is not prone to risk and will think very carefully whether he should stand against current party president Tomislav Karamarko, under whose leadership HDZ returned to power in coalition with MOST. It is possible that Šeks openly mentioned Plenković as a potential candidate so that he would force him to make his final decision known soon.
Before becoming a member of the European Parliament in 2013, Plenković was an MP in Croatian Parliament and a diplomat. He is considered to be a more moderate and liberal politician than the majority of the HDZ leadership.
In his interview, Šeks described his relations with party president Tomislav Karamarko as “frozen” and non-existent. After the interview, even some members of HDZ who are close to Šeks commented that they “did not know why Šeks was doing that” and that he is now one of those who become darlings of the media after they start criticizing HDZ. They also claimed that Šeks has been left without any influence in HDZ.