Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) president Tomislav Karamarko said on Saturday that there was no talk of a division of offices in a tripartite government at last night's negotiations between the HDZ, the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and the Bridge party, adding that they had discussed that only in general, outlining the possible problems.

"There was no talk about that. I think there will be more talk about it today," Karamarko told Croatian Television before a meeting of the HDZ Presidency when asked if there was talk at Friday's negotiations about a division of ministries in case the three parties agreed on a tripartite government.

He said the talks would continue today. "I want to be optimistic and we'll see what happens."

Karamarko said that from the start he had been saying that he was sceptical about the possibility and good functioning of a tripartite government, but that he had always been open for talks about it.

The HDZ presidency is discussing at noon and the SDP Presidency at 5 pm whether they will sign an agreement to participate in a tripartite government as proposed by the Bridge party.

Last night, Bridge leader Bozo Petrov gave the HDZ- and SDP-led coalitions until 7 pm today to take a position on the agreement under which the tripartite government would be led either by a non-partisan prime minister or a Bridge candidate, while all other decisions regarding the government and parliament's inauguration would be adopted by consensus, with the consent of the HDZ and the SDP.

The Bridge party told Hina today that it was incorrect that the HDZ and the SDP were asked to sign a document on the division of ministries by party.

Experts of the three parties are to meet at 2.30 pm to continue talks on reforms, while the three parties' leaders are expected to meet at 7 pm to agree on a prime minister-designate.

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