ZAGREB, May 31, 2019 – Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) parliamentary deputy Davor Ivo Stier said on Friday that the party experienced a failure in the recent elections for the European Parliament because it had become distant from the right electorate, and he expressed readiness to work on reuniting the HDZ and its voters also as party president.
Recalling that the HDZ won four seats in the EP vote, while the goal had been to secure five seats, Stier told the press in the national parliament that voters had sent a clear message that the party had become distant from the right electorate and that the HDZ must focus on the fight against corruption and clientelism.
“We cannot run in parliamentary elections with the approval ratings of 22% or 23%. Voters have sent us a message that the struggle against corruption and clientelism is extremely important and that it must be in the centre of our political activity,” Stier said.
He insists that for the HDZ to ensure a convincing election victory, the party must also win the votes of the right electorate.
Many traditional HDZ voters went to the polls this past Sunday but this time they did not vote for the HDZ, Stier said.
Stier, who used to be an HDZ MEP and foreign minister, believes that it is his mission to work on consolidating the party and uniting the HDZ and its voters.
Asked whether this means that he is ready to take over the helm of the HDZ, he replied: “Why not? However, you will receive my precise answer when the time for intraparty elections comes.”
Stier underscored that he despises the conduct of those who vigorously applaud the leader when he is powerful and turn their back on the leader when he finds himself on slippery ground.
Prime Minister and Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) leader Andrej Plenković said on Friday that the HDZ was a democratic party in which everybody could say what they thought as well as run for party presidency.
In his comment on Stier’s statement, Plenkovic said: “It would be good if all those willing to help actually did so during campaigns and elections. As regards Stier’s wish that as many people as possible support the HDZ’s projects and programmes, that is a good idea,” Plenković told the press while arriving at the Zagreb City Assembly for a special session on the occasion of City Day.
“We are a democratic party, everybody can say what they think, definitely. I don’t think that it is a problem. When intraparty elections are held, all aspirants can submit their candidacies,” Plenković said.
In his response to Stier’s criticism, Plenković said that the HDZ did not become distant from anybody.
When reporters remarked that the right camp had won the support of 17% of those who went to the polls for the last EP election, Plenković said that “they voted so in this election.” “When parliamentary elections come, you will see who they will vote for.”
The HDZ will win the next parliamentary election, Plenković said, adding that he would certainly remain at the party’s helm.
More HDZ news can be found in the Politics section.