tomislav karamarko.jpg
Photograph: Hina / Denis CERIĆ /dc

Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) leader and First Deputy Prime Minister Tomislav Karamarko said on Friday evening that the HDZ would do its best to help the incumbent government to survive and that Bridge, the HDZ's partner in the government, and its leader Bozo Petrov would not manage to topple the government.

"The HDZ will use all its strength and energy to see to it that this government survives, that neither Bridge nor Bozo Petrov, regardless of what scenario they may take part in, manage to topple this government. Likewise, any scenario designed to destroy and demoralise the HDZ and cause disorder in our ranks will not succeed," Karamarko told reporters during a break in a meeting of the HDZ Presidency, held in a Zagreb hotel ahead of a party electoral convention set for Saturday.

Karamarko said that the HDZ was a fundamental Croatian party on which the country's future depended to a large extent and that the HDZ was united in the position that the fight for Croatia and the current government should continue so that the necessary economic progress and better living standards could be achieved.

Karamarko addressed reporters after the government earlier in the day held a conference call and decided with a majority vote to reject a proposal by the Opposition for a parliamentary vote of no confidence in Karamarko following allegations of his involvement in a conflict of interest case.

All six Bridge ministers in the government voted against the government's decision, as did Bridge leader Bozo Petrov.

After the government's conference call, Petrov addressed reporters, calling on Karamarko again to resign as First Deputy Prime Minister and announcing that if he failed to do so, 12 Bridge members of Parliament would vote for his impeachment.

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