The Croatian Democratic Union's (HDZ) partners in the Patriotic Coalition supported HDZ president Tomislav Karamarko at the HDZ's 17th electoral convention, voicing confidence that the party will elect a good leadership which will know how to solve the existing problems and take the country into a better future.
The coalition's partner Bridge did not have its representative at the convention.
"Perhaps we are not on the same ship, but we have the same direction, and our direction is the well-being of the Croatian people," said Pero Coric of the HSP AS party.
He fully supported Karamarko, whom the Bridge party asked to step down as the First Deputy Prime Minister over conflict of interest allegations, and called on the 1,850 HDZ delegates in attendance to elect bodies which "will know how to end this agony" and begin "a demographic, democratic and economic revival" of Croatia.
Coric accused Bridge of trying to bring the left wing back to power in an unacceptable manner.
Milivoj Spika of the BUZ pensioners party said citizens expected the delegates to have, alongside Karamarko, "a leadership with balls which will know how to put their foot down and take us into a better tomorrow." He said BUZ would stay in the ruling coalition until the end, voicing confidence that the HDZ, Karamarko and the candidate for its deputy president, Milijan Brkic, were resolute and strong enough not to give in.
Labour and Solidarity Party leader Milan Bandic called on Karamarko to "take responsibility into (his) hands and let's build Croatia together." He said Croatia needed unity, confidence and turning to the future. He told Karamarko, "the public expects you to assume responsibility, draw the line as the leader of the main party which assumed responsibility for running Croatia."
Ladislav Ilcic of the Hrast party said unity was "extremely important, especially when we look at the alternative, which is going backwards 30-40 years."
Dorica Nikolic of the Croatian Social and Liberal Party said "Croatia has no time for dilettantes, for those who don't have time for responsibility, for talks, negotiations, agreements. That's behind us."
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