vladimir šeks.jpg
Photograph: Hina / Denis CERIĆ /dc

Unless parliament and government are formed within "a reasonable time", the president should consider exercising her constitutional powers to appoint an interim non-partisan government and call a new election, the presidential adviser on constitutional issues, Vladimir Seks, said on Thursday.

Speaking to the press after elected lawmakers failed to form a new parliament, Seks said he was confident that the public would increase pressure on the political parties to behave responsibly and conscientiously and not to allow a constitutional crisis.

"If parliament should not be formed within a foreseeable time, the functioning of the legislative authority would be blocked and paralysed. There will certainly be strong public pressure on all key stakeholders because people will start to increasingly resent those who, for their own particular interests, are not looking at a wider picture and the future of Croatia. Huge public pressure will very soon bring the leading political players to their senses to form the parliament," Seks said.

Unlike him, Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic believes that a new election is possible only if parliament decides so. "The constitution is unclear here. If parliament is not formed, and I believe it will be, it can cease to exist only if dissolves itself. We can function as a minority government for four years, which would not be good, but there are a lot of such examples in Europe. The authors of the constitution did not envisage this situation because they probably counted on the common sense and responsibility of elected deputies who cannot be told what to do by either the prime minister or the president of the republic," he said.

Milanovic also believes that if parliament is not formed, the president cannot appoint an interim government because there is no basis for that in the constitution. "The president cannot even call an election. This is huge pressure on the members of parliament, they must reach an agreement because the people gave them their trust at elections... The role of the president is to give a mandate to whoever presents proof that they have gathered 76 or more signatures. I believe this will happen within a reasonable time, which depends on the people who are here today and who have been elected by the Croatian people to lead them," the Social Democratic Party (SDP) leader said.

Political analysts say that with the present situation in parliament Croatia has reached a deadlock and that a new election is the most likely option.

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