Zlatko Hasanbegović.jpg
Photograph: HINA/ Nikša MILETIĆ/ ua

The Minister of Culture and member of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) party's Presidency, Zlatko Hasanbegovic, said in Dubrovnik on Sunday that he was a staunch advocate of long-term cooperation with the Bridge reformist party and that HDZ should keep the right-wing Croatian Party of Rights - Dr Ante Starcevic (HSP AS) in its coalition.

Asked by the press if a coalition between the HDZ and Bridge was possible for the forthcoming early parliamentary election, Hasanbegovic said that he was advocating such a solution.  "A coalition is possible, it is a strategic coalition and the only one possible. Everyone knows that as a minister I have cooperated with our colleagues from Bridge and that generally I am a great advocate of an HDZ-Bridge coalition, not as a temporary solution, but as a long-term strategic political partnership for the years to come."

Asked if the HDZ should keep the HSP AS in its coalition and whether this party had damaged or benefited the HDZ, Hasanbegovic said he could see no reason why the HSP AS should not remain in the political alliance with the HDZ.

"There is no reason for the HSP AS not to be with the HDZ. It has loyally cooperated with us in the Patriotic Coalition and I can see no reason why it should not stay in some kind of a political alliance with the HDZ. How and in what constituencies is yet to be agreed. This party has benefited the HDZ because it covers an electorate that is very close to us. The HDZ should focus on its own voters and not allow its policy to be shaped either by the media or by political lobbies which are in no way connected with the HDZ," Hasanbegovic said.

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