Will SDP’s Coalition Partner Support HDZ’s Government?

Total Croatia News

Is an unlikely coalition between HDZ and HNS a possibility? 

It is no secret that Patriotic Coalition’s majority in the Parliament is razor thin. And it is questionable whether all 15 MOST’s MPs will remain together until the end. That is why the talks between Prime Minister-Designate Tihomir Orešković and HNS’s current ministers which have or will take place are an interesting and smart move, reports Vecernji List on January 5, 2016.

So far, Orešković has spoken with the outgoing Economy Minister Ivan Vrdoljak. In addition to the projects already started, they have discussed what should be done in the future for the economy. Orešković reportedly also intends to meet with the Minister of Construction and Physical Planning Anka Mrak-Taritaš. She said that she had not yet received an invitation, but would be happy to meet with Orešković. “My only interest is for all the good projects that we have started in the previous term to continue. Anyone with this aim will have my support”, Mrak-Taritaš said.

Whether everything will stay just on talks or whether HNS might in the future add its 9 MPs to the shaky government majority is an interesting question. Many HNS officials say that this will certainly not happen and that they did not offer anything to HDZ nor did HDZ ask for anything. “HNS is in the opposition and will be for the next four years. Unless there are new elections”, said Predrag Štromar, chairman of the HNS Main Council.

One member of the HNS Presidency also said that there is no chance that HNS could change sides. “We are the opposition, but a constructive opposition. We will support from the Parliament all good proposals”, the source said.

However, there are those in the party who are not ready to completely dismiss the idea that HDZ and MOST government could have their support. “Never say never. It is hard to dismiss that possibility at this moment. One should first see how it all goes, who will be in that government, what they will advocate. But, if it is a purely HDZ political government, then we really have nothing to do there”, said a source form HNS.

The same source is convinced that the agreement which they signed when they entered the Croatia is Growing coalition is not an obstacle. The agreement includes a provision that they will not form a coalition with HDZ. “If the same agreement was not valid for SDP and Zoran Milanović, who accepted a tripartite coalition, I see no reason why the agreement would bind HNS”, the source said.

Political analyst Ivan Rimac believes that HNS is not ready for such a situation. “I think that HNS will not enter a coalition with HDZ. They were quite resolute they would not cooperate with HDSSB, so it is unlikely they would cooperate with HSP and some others right-wing parties of the Patriotic Coalition”, Rimac believes. However, we should wait for a vote of confidence in Parliament and see whether some of the former ministers are involved in the new government. He added that it would be a big risk for these people because they could be excluded from membership in HNS.

Analyst Žarko Puhovski holds that everything will depend on HNS president Vesna Pusić, who has demonstrated that she is no longer interested in leading the party. HDZ on the other hand is trying in every possible way to escape the pressure from MOST. “They are difficult to work with, they keep changing demands, and HNS could ease the situation for HDZ. In addition, HNS is being used as a method of creating pressure on MOST. HDZ is sending a message that they do have another possibility”, Puhovski says.


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