zoran milanović.jpg
Photograph: Hina / Denis CERIĆ /dc

Leader of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) Zoran Milanovic on Monday said that he didn't consider parliament's dissolution decision as a great success and reiterated that the SDP supported the option for parliament to be dissolved immediately.

"That was the aim. That was the only means and way to go to a new election. As far as the SDP is concerned and some others, we wanted parliament to be dissolved immediately, as of today, but Bridge opted for July 15. Without their MPs, it was impossible to muster a majority, and now the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) has joined in, hence parliament will dissolve on July 15," he told reporters in the parliament.

Asked what parliament would do until July 15 when the dissolution will occur, Milanovic said, "just like it has for the past six months, nothing."

"I believe that the president will call the election for September 4, I hope so. Considering that this decision cannot be reversed, it needs to be see when she will make that decision, but that is a technical matter now. It is impossible to overturn this decision before July 15. The last possible date for an election is September 11 which might be a bit far, so September 4 is OK," Milanovic said.

Asked whether the SDP had ministerial candidates ready, he said that it did but that everything would depend on the majority in parliament just like after the last election.

"As far as a convincing victory is concerned, I believe it will be ours, but we are still far from that. Once the election results are known, we will know who has the parliamentary majority and then we'll talk about that. I believe then we will have a new parliament with clearer contours, clearer political convictions, because what we endured over the past six months was truly humiliating," he said.

He said that SDP would go to the election with its partners in the Croatia Is Growing coalition. "There will probably be some changes. Each election carries something new, you can never know everything. The Istrian Democratic Party (IDS) will go the election on its own," he said.

"The Croatian Peasants' Party (HSS), as far as I have seen, is definitely, hopefully forever, leaving this (HDZ-led Patriotic) coalition. I think that they never belonged there, but that's up to them. As far as we are concerned, we had very fruitful and good cooperation with them ten years ago and I don't see any reason, particularly with the new leadership, why that shouldn't occur in the future," he said.

This is a centre-left coalition. "SDP is a leftist party, but much wider than just leftist, we also have some centre moments, some of our partners are a little more to the centre. That's a wide people's progressive coalition, people who want changes, not revolutionary changes, not changes over the weekend, but constant work on correcting and fixing what is not good in Croatia," SDP's leader said.

He did not wish to answer whether a large SDP-HDZ coalition was possible if HDZ leader Tomislav Karamarko stepped down. "Let's leave it at that. I won't comment on that. Don't ask me about the HDZ, that's their business," he said.

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