ivan vrdoljak.jpg
Photograph: HINA/ Miljenko KLEPAC/ ik

Ivan Vrdoljak, so far the only candidate running for leader of the opposition Croatian People's Party (HNS), on Saturday ruled out the possibility of cooperation between the HNS and the ruling Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ).

"There is not the least chance of our participation (in government)," Vrdoljak told a press conference after a meeting of the HNS main committee. He was asked about a possibility of the HNS joining the coalition with the HDZ.

Vrdoljak recalled that his party was "the first to say 'no' to this kind of government formation and that it would rather go into opposition." He said that the HNS would soon hold a party election at which it would define its goals.

Vrdoljak said that the HNS would be a centrist, civic-oriented party that would be working to improve living standards and boost economic growth in Croatia. He stressed that "extremism and populism must not prevail."

The HNS is scheduled to hold an election convention on April 16. The party's main committee proposed Vrdoljak as HNS leader, Predrag Stromar as first deputy leader, Anka Mrak Taritas and Srdjan Gjurkovic as deputy leaders and Matija Posavec as chairman of the main committee.

Candidates for the highest offices may also be nominated by the party's regional branches or ten percent of voting delegates.

The outgoing leader Vesna Pusic said that she would remain actively involved in the party's activities after the election convention, adding that she was satisfied with what she had achieved during her 20 years in the leadership of the HNS. 

"Croatia has changed for the better, all the values that the HNS has been advocating have become widely accepted in society. The party has grown from two MPs to 10, from 5,000 members to over 40,000. All the efforts have paid off," Pusic said.

Related stories

Ivan Vrdoljak elected new HNS leader

HNS chief calls for level-headed talks on next gov't

HNS chief says coalition with HDZ now not an option

HNS leader urges HDZ and Bridge to finally form government

Latest news

Trump-style rhetoric is making world more dangerous, Amnesty says

Divisive and "poisonous" language used by politicians such as US President Donald Trump is putting vulnerable populations at risk and making the whole world a more dangerous place, Amnesty International charged on Wednesday.

Canada soon to begin resettling Iraqi refugees, most of them Yezidis

Canada will resettle 1,200 survivors of the Islamic State campaign to target religious minorities in northern Iraq, Canadian officials announced Tuesday. 

Breitbart editor resigns after release of paedophilia comments

Milo Yiannopoulos, a controversial editor at the far-right Breitbart news website, resigned Tuesday after the emergence of recordings in which he appears to defend sexual relationships between young boys and older men.

Trump administration opens door for mass deportations

The US Department of Homeland Security laid the groundwork Tuesday for mass deportations of immigrants living illegally in the United States under an executive order by President Donald Trump last month.

Brexit bill: House of Lords says public can change mind on leaving EU

The British public should be able to change their minds on Brexit - just as Prime Minister Theresa May did, the upper chamber of parliament heard Tuesday during a marathon debate on legislation to kick off EU negotiations.

Italian lawmakers, rights activists clash over gay sex club scandal

Gay rights activists and conservative politicians clashed Tuesday after the chief of Italy's anti-discrimination office quit over allegations that money had been authorized for gay sex clubs.

EU countries agree new rules to avoid tax evasion

European Union finance ministers in Brussels on Tuesday reached a political agreement on new rules to ensure that multinational corporations do not declare profits in the countries where they pay the least tax but in the countries where they generate it.

Trump condemns "horrible, painful" anti-Jewish incidents

US President Donald Trump condemned a recent spate of threats against Jewish community targets across the United States, during a visit Tuesday to the newly opened National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington.

FinMin expects Croatia to exit Excessive Deficit Procedure this spring

Finance Minister Zdravko Maric said on Tuesday Croatia could exit the Excessive Deficit Procedure this spring and that it was showing progress in correcting macroeconomic imbalances.

Austria seeks to create jobs, but new EU immigrants need not apply

Austria plans to create 160,000 jobs in the next three years by subsidizing companies, but the project has raised concerns because it effectively excludes people who recently immigrated from other EU countries.

Juncker: Not good for W. Balkans that some in Washington want to water down EU

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on Tuesday it was not good for Western Balkan countries that some people in the new US administration gave the impression of being against the European Union because those countries needed the prospects of EU membership.

Citizens invited to help create Croatian version of Monopoly

A project to create a Croatian edition of Monopoly, in which citizens can participate by submitting proposals and which could become a souvenir for tourists, was presented at a press conference on Tuesday.

German state approves full-face veil ban

Legislation that bans face veils in select public spaces and situations was agreed by the government of the southeastern German state of Bavaria on Tuesday.

Indian restaurant Gaggan in Bangkok named Asia's best for third year

Bangkok's Indian eatery Gaggan on Tuesday was named the best restaurant in Asia for the third consecutive year by Asia's 50 Best Restaurants.

HGK: 16 Croatian companies to exhibit at IDEX defence exhibition

Sixteen Croatian companies will exhibit their products at the 13th IDEX 2017 defence exhibition in Abu Dhabi, to be held on February 19-23.