Milorad Pupovac.jpg
Photograph: HINA/ Mladen VOLARIĆ/ ua

Croatian Serb leader Milorad Pupovac, one of the three elected deputies of the Serb minority in the new Croatian parliament, said on Sunday that the elected Serb deputies were ready to support the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), the relative winner of the recent parliamentary election, if that party pursued centre-right polices.

In an interview with the HTV national broadcaster, Pupovac said that the HDZ was acquainted with the position of the Independent Democratic Serb Party (SDSS) whose members were elected to represent that ethnic minority.

"Our positions are known to the HDZ. We were ready to support the HDZ when it was a centre-right party. That was in 2004 and in 2007, and that will be the case now, too," Pupovac said when asked about possibilities for his party to support the HDZ in forming the new government if the caretaker Culture Minister Zlatko Hasanbegovic, might also be included in the new cabinet.

"Croatia needs a strong centre-right party and this is essential for Croatia in the long run."

"We want Croatia to turn to the future and not to the past, to turn to its democratic potentials and not to undemocratic resources from the the country's past," said Pupovac.

"We want the minorities to be recognised as a part of that democratic potential. Those who are not able to recognise minorities and those who want to shape the Croatian cultural and political space, from the revisionist positions of the defeated forces in the 20th century, that is extreme right-wing positions, cannot be our partners," he said.

Regarding the ongoing negotiations on the establishment  of the new government, Pupovac said that it would be good that minorities have their representatives in the executive authorities.

As for the disputed referendum which the Bosnian Serb leaders held on Sunday in the Serb-populated areas of Bosnia and Herzegovina on an official holiday, Pupovac said he would like if it had not happened. The referendum was organised despite the ban of the state-level Constitutional Court.

Pupovac said he hoped that enough wisdom and will would be found to hold talks after the referendum.

"The future of the Serbs in Bosnia and Herzegovina cannot be guaranteed without cooperation with the other two (constituent) peoples," Pupovac said elaborating that it would not be enough to cooperate only with the Croats on which, he said, Milorad Dodik (the Bosnian Serb leader), has been insisting recently, but it is also necessary to cooperate with the Bosniaks.

"Some mode for cooperation and agreement must be found," Pupovac said.

In comment to criticism that he travelled to Serbia for talks with Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic too frequently, Pupovac said that those meetings were not secret and that they served for each side to be better acquainted with each other,

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