miro bulj.jpg
Photograph: HINA/ Denis CERIĆ /dc

Member of Parliament Miro Bulj of Bridge, a junior partner in the ruling coalition, said on Wednesday that Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) leader Tomislav Karamarko should have resigned earlier as First Deputy Prime Minister. 

"Karamarko should have resigned much earlier. As to why he didn't, you should ask him," Bulj told reporters in the parliament.

Asked what he expected of the parliament's Conflict of Interest Commission, which is to decide today on conflict of interest allegations against Karamarko, Bulj said that the decision was up to the Commission.

"That's up to them, I know my position and Bridge's position," Bulj said, adding that Karamarko should have resigned earlier so that the government could function.

Asked if Bridge was now more inclined to cooperate with the HDZ, he said: "We'll see, we are waiting for the Commission's decision, but I repeat, Karamarko should have stepped down earlier."

Josip Salapic of the opposition HDSSB party said that the announcement of Karamarko's resignation was a political trick aimed at expediting the process of Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic's impeachment in the parliament.

He repeated that his party would not take part in any reshuffles.

Vesna Pusic of the opposition HNS party said that the announcement of Karamarko's resignation was "yet another attempt to save Karamarko" and pre-empt a parliamentary vote on his impeachment.

She said that the current situation could not be resolved without an early election. "I think the HDZ has no chance of mustering a (new) majority, but they will keep pushing for a while."

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