Bozo Petrov, Andrej Plenkovic.jpg
Photograph: HINA / Tomislav PAVLEK / mm

Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) leader Andrej Plenkovic and his counterpart from the Bridge party, Bozo Petrov, on Monday evening said that harmonising of the two parties' views on the seven demands set out by Bridge was nearing completion, and they had started discussing topics important for the new government's agenda.

"We have made progress on the seven points presented by Bridge in the run-up to the election, and I think that we are close to agreement on all issues, depending on the road-map for their implementation," Plenkovic said in the HDZ headquarters in Zagreb after the six-hour-long third round of negotiations between the two potential future partners in Croatia's new government.

"The developments give rise to optimism, and I am glad that we are close to hammering out agreement on Bridge's seven-point election programme, however, there are details that will be elaborated in the coming days. We have approached topics pertaining to the next government's agenda," Petrov said.

He added that the HDZ had also outlined in brief its views on the make-up of the new cabinet.

The negotiations between thew two parties are to continue this week.

Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic is to start consultations on Wednesday with parliamentary parties and elected minority representatives on who will be tasked with the role of Prime Minister-Designate, after the State Election Commission (DIP) on Monday established the official results of the September 11 early parliamentary election.

Under the constitution, the president can entrust the candidate supported by an absolute majority of deputies in the 151-seat parliament with the task of PM-designate. Thus, the PM-Designate hopeful should corroborate his/her candidacy with at least 76 signatures of elected deputies.

The HDZ was the relative winner of the snap election, winning 61 seats.

The Social Democratic Party-led People's Coalition won 54 seats, the Bridge party 13, while the Human Shield party won eight, IDS/PGS three, a coalition led by Zagreb Mayor Milan Bandic's party two and the regional HDSSB party one seat. One seat was won by independent MP Zeljko Glasnovic in the constituency for Croats living outside Croatia.

Eight seats are allotted to MPs representing ethnic minorities. Three are allocated to the Serb minority which will be represented by SDSS party members Milorad Pupovac, Mile Horvat and Boris Miletic. Furio Radin was elected representative of the Italian minority and Robert Jankovics of ethnic Hungarians. Ethnic Roma representative Veljko Kajtazi will represent the Roma and 11 other minorities, Vladimir Bilek will represent the Czech and Slovak communities, while Ermina Lekaj Prljaskaj will represent the ethnic Albanian community plus another four minorities (Bosniak, Montenegrin, Slovenian and Macedonian).

The new, ninth parliament is due to hold its inaugural session by 15 October.

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