Kreso Beljak.jpg
Leader of the Croatian Peasant Party (HSS), Kreso Beljak
Photograph: HINA/ Lana SLIVAR DOMINIĆ/ lsd

The Presidency of the Croatian Peasant Party (HSS) on Saturday rejected by a majority vote appeals by Croatian member of the European Parliament and member of the HSS Main Committee and Presidency, Marijana Petir, and Koprivnica-Krizevci County head Darko Koren against a decision to suspend them as HSS members, and launched against them proceedings over their political responsibility for obstruction of the September 11 early parliamentary election.

Petir and Koren are two of seven HSS members who appealed against their suspension and whose appeals were turned down. Another three suspended HSS members did not file any appeals but the party presidency decided to launch proceedings against them over their political responsibility as well.

HSS leader Kresimir Beljak said the party presidency adopted his proposal by a vast majority of votes, with no votes against. One member of the party presidency abstained.

Beljak added that the HSS Presidency also decided by a majority vote (with two abstentions) that he would be their candidate for the party leader at intra-party elections to be held on October 22.

Beljak said that there was still a large number of suspended party members but that their situation was slightly better because they had refrained from making public statements.

Commenting on the decision of the party leadership, Petir said today that it had abandoned the fundamental values of the HSS and killed the party in order "to save their positions."

Petir said that she was being removed because she had announced her candidacy for HSS leader.

On September 14 Beljak suspended Petir as an HSS member, citing as the reason the obstruction of the early parliamentary vote. Petir was suspended together with about 100 other HSS members, including Koprivnica-Krizevci County head Koren.

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