The president of the BM 365 Labour and Solidarity Party, Zagreb Mayor Milan Bandic, on Saturday commented on the government crisis, saying the solution was either a reshuffle within a month at the latest or a new parliamentary election and that, in either option, his party would again be a solution.

Asked by the press who he would side with if a new election resulted again in a coalition, Bandic said "such a combination will never happen again." Asked to which option his party belonged, he said "to the residents of Zagreb and the well-being of Croatian citizens, to a European Zagreb and a European Croatia."

Independent MP Gordana Rusak said she was for solving the current situation as soon as possible and that a new election was perhaps the best option.

The GONG election monitoring NGO urged all MPs to assume political responsibility by dissolving parliament as early as Monday, and the president to call an early parliamentary election by July 17 at the latest.

Any attempt to reshuffle the ruling majority will only prolong the agony and political chaos, GONG said in a press release, adding that an early election could not be postponed until the autumn.

GONG is seeking an early election because the incumbent government has shown over the past six months that it cannot run the state, Berto Salaj told a news conference. "The political class has shown that it isn't sufficiently capable of running this political community. They can't overcome the crisis. In democratic systems, the way out of such crises is sought in elections," he said.

"All of Europe is talking about Croatia's democratic regression and citizens are waiting for the problems to be solved," said Dragan Zelic, adding that opposition leader Zoran Milanovic and First Deputy Prime Minister Tomislav Karamarko "have the biggest responsibility because they have enough hands for dissolving" parliament.

Jelena Berkovic of GONG said Karamarko's HDZ party "does not have the political legitimacy to form a new majority in the incumbent parliament," and mentioned Karamarko's possible conflict of interest in relation to Hungarian oil company MOL. She said voters "should give their assessment in an election."

PM Tihomir Oreskovic yesterday asked his two deputies, Karamarko and Bozo Petrov of Bridge, to resign so that the government could continue its reform programme..

Karamarko said yesterday he would not resign from the post of First Deputy PM and that Oreskovic no longer had the confidence of the HDZ, the strongest party in the government, so he should resign.

Petrov said yesterday he was ready to resign as Deputy PM if that would help stabilise the situation in the country.

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