Croatian parliamentary negotiations complicated by formation of new party within Most

By bne IntelliNews November 24, 2015

Drago Prgomet, who has been recently expelled from Bridge of Independent Lists (Most), a party which is currently negotiating with Croatia’s two main political parties the formation of a majority in the future parliament, has founded a new party, local media reported on November 24. The move will complicate negotiations and is likely to reduce the chances of opposition Patriotic Coalition, led by the Croatian Democrat Union (HDZ), to return to power.

Croatia’s general elections ended inconclusively, with no party or coalition gaining enough votes to have majority. Most turned out to be the real winner in the elections as both the Patriotic Coalition and ruling Croatia is Growing coalition, led by ruling Social Democratic (SDP), need its help to form a majority. The Patriotic Coalition won 59 seats in Croatia’s 151-member parliament, while Croatia is Growing gained 56 seats and Most gained 19 seats.

Negotiations between Most and the two main coalitions started right after elections. Most proposed a national unity government, an idea which was not welcomed by any of the two coalitions. However, the situation got even more complicated when Prgomet, a leader of Most, was expelled from the party after it had been found out that he had been secretly negotiating with Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic.

Prgomet insists his new party, HRID, will continue to operate within the Most political platform, according to Total Croatia News.

"HRID can be the pillar of Most in Zagreb. We will continue to operate within the Most political platform. People do not realize that Most is not a party, but a political platform of four political parties,” Prgomet said.

Two additional Most members of parliament, Gordana Rusak and Irena Petrijevcanin Vuksanovic, were also present at the HRID party’s founding meeting.

The current situation complicates HDZ’s position and makes SDP more likely to continue governing in Croatia. HDZ and Most now have a total of 75 seats, less than the 76 needed to form majority. Moreover, according to local media, at least two more members of Most could soon leave the party as well. 

“Things are quite clear: 75% of Most would rather go with SDP's coalition, but Most leader Bozo Petrov cannot do that, and therefore there is no decision,” Most member Stipe Petrina said.

HDZ has reportedly started to try to attract minorities on its side. However, this would be very difficult considering the party’s nationalistic rhetoric. Out of the eight minority representatives in the Croatian parliament, three represent the Serbian national minority and support SDP, two are members of SDP's coalition partner HNS, while the representative of the Hungarian national minority Sandor Juhas is close to SDP.

Most of the smaller parties which got it to the parliament are close to SDP.

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