HDZ decision-making bodies back deal with Bridge

The Presidency and the National Council of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) have unanimously supported a report on the outcome of negotiations on government formation between the HDZ and the Bridge party and their agreement to form a new cabinet, with backing from ethnic minorities and other political parties that have extended their support, party chief Andrej Plenkovic said on Friday.

"We had a very concrete and good discussion involving a number of colleagues, thus wrapping up this cycle of activities, and as of Monday we will be working on a new task," Plenkovic told reporters after a two and a half hour meeting of his party's main bodies.

Asked if anyone expressed dissatisfaction at the meeting, he said that he did not hear any such positions.

"Quite the contrary, I think they were very satisfied, especially when they were informed of the course of the talks and their context," he said.

Plenkovic said that he had more than 90 signatures of support from elected members of Parliament for his nomination as the PM-Designate and that aside from elected HDZ deputies, signatures were given to him also by all elected representatives of ethnic minorities, five MPs of the Croatian Peasant Party (HSS), three members of the future club of deputies of Milan Bandic's Party of Work and Solidarity and the Reformists, and that he now expected 15 signatures of support from Bridge.

Plenkovic denied reports that the meeting of the HDZ senior bodies discussed candidates for ministerial positions, saying that the new government was expected to have 18 ministries, including four deputy prime ministers, each in charge of certain departments. 

"That's the current plan. Once I am given the mandate to form the government by the President of the Republic, we will focus more on that topic," Plenkovic said, adding that the next meeting on specific positions in the government would be held on Monday, after consultations at the Office of the President.

Asked when Croatia would have a new government, Plenkovic said that he would talk with the incumbent and next parliament speaker next week to see how the inaugural session of the parliament, set for October 14, would proceed given that a set of legal decisions was expected to be adopted at it.

"Under the Constitution, we have 30 days (for government formation), and it is our wish to do it sooner than that," he said.

Last update: Fri, 07/10/2016 - 21:37

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