A member of the Bridge party, Ivan Kovacic, said in the southern Croatian town of Omis on Monday that the statement by the new Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) chief, Andrej Plenkovic, that his party was prepared to cooperate with Bridge was pretentious, because a cosmetic change in the party leadership meant nothing if he kept the same people around from before.

"A single cosmetic change, regardless of the fact that we are talking about the president of the HDZ, means nothing if he is to keep all those who wholeheartedly toppled the government by his side and those who wholeheartedly supported bribe and corruption. I believe that Plenkovic has to invest a lot of effort to prove the credibility of changes within the party and prove that he will make changes in the party to protect national and public interest," Kovacic told N1 broadcaster.

"Not only are we not willing to cooperate with those type of people, but we are not even willing to talk about any possible cooperation," he underscored.

Asked if Plenkovic was an acceptable candidate for the position of prime minister for Bridge, Kovacic said every party had the right to nominate their candidate and that Bridge will run with its own candidate for the position of prime minister -- Bozo Petrov. He added that in the past six months Bridge had shown credibility in the protection of national interests.

Commenting on claims by Croatian Peasant Party leaders that Bridge was in fact the HDZ, Kovacic said that the People's Coalition brought together a number of smaller parties without any value which were here only to protect their petty interests.

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