Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) president Tomislav Karamarko said on Thursday, at the final election rally of the HDZ-led Patriotic Coalition, that he would like to see Croatia's left and right wings united in the love for the homeland.
"We wish to be in good relations with everyone and, in particular, that the relations within the Croatian people are homogeneous and honest, and we will never again allow divisions. I'd like to see Croatia's left and Croatia's right on one line, the love for the homeland. We don't have to think the same, but we have to love the homeland," he said, adding that "this isn't the case with this government" and that the ruling coalition had transformed into patriots only with the approaching of the parliamentary election.
Karamarko said Sunday's election was a fight for Croatia and that he, "as the new prime minister, will serve my country because I love it."
He said the ruling coalition was waving flags at its election rallies but that they did not understand that flag-waving was not something one learnt, "because it's a reflection of the state of the heart and the soul."
Karamarko recalled the HDZ founder and first Croatian president, Franjo Tudjman. "Let's be happy and proud that as a party we have inherited his political doctrine, which is very simple and eternal - freedom to the Croatian people, the independence and democracy of one's own people."
He also recalled the 15,000 who were killed in Croatia's Homeland War.
"We are for reconciliation... and I honestly don't want to claim that members of other parties are bad patriots, but we won't let anyone belittle the Croatian state, the things we hold sacred and our history," he said, adding that the ruling Social Democratic Party (SDP) had nothing to do with the left wing and that "it negates what we created in the 1990s."
Former Slovak prime minister Mikulas Dzurinda also addressed the rally, speaking in Croatian. "We changed our country, which they called the black hole of Europe, and now it's in step with the best countries of Europe. Now we would like to share our experiences and economic platform with you. You have a good choice ahead. You have a chance to choose a Croatia which will enjoy a good reputation in the world and I'm convinced that this choice is called the HDZ and its coalition."
Numerous world politicians sent video messages and letters of support, including Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Irish PM Enda Kenny, Bulgarian PM Boyko Borissov, Manfred Weber of the Bavarian CSU and Michael Schneider of the Bavarian CDU.