The presidency of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) on Monday formed a task force to draw up amendments to the party Statute so as to strengthen party bodies and make party president "first among equals", HDZ deputy chief Milijan Brkic told the press after the session.
"The presidency decided to form a task force for amending the Statute to further advance intra-party democratisation and strengthen the HDZ institutions so that decision could be made by party bodies and that a person nominally representing the party would be "first among equals", while the decision-making group would include as many people as possible who will contribute to the quality of these decisions with their integrity, knowledge and competence and in that way assume responsibility for those decisions," Brkic said.
The Statute would strengthen party bodies and clearly define powers of party president and other central bodies, given that the present Statute is not clear about the protocol following the resignation of party chief, Brkic explained.
He dismissed claims that the party was changing the Statute because the HDZ presidency believes that former party chief Tomislav Karamarko was making decision without agreement with other party bodies.
Asked if the amendments would reduce the powers of the party chief, Brkic reiterated that changes would be made for the purpose of a further democratisation of the party.
Commenting on preparations for the election of a new party chief, Brkic said "everything is proceeding peacefully" and that everyone who wanted to run must submit their candidacy by midnight, July 6.
"So far we don't have a single candidate, except those who expressed their wish to run. Let's see, let's give it some time," Brkic said.
Asked if he too was collecting the 5,000 signatures necessary to announced the candidacy for HDZ chief, Brkic said he would make this decision by the end of the week.
Brkic also confirmed that the HDZ has already launched talks with potential coalition partners for the coming parliamentary elections.