Zoran Milanović.JPG
Photograph: HINA/ Daniel KASAP / dk

Social Democratic Party (SDP) leader Zoran Milanovic said at an election rally of the People's Coalition in Karlovac on Tuesday that his coalition's victory in the September 11 election would prevent Croatia from sliding into the domination of one political camp and violence and bring the same rules for all, making Croatia a country of dialogue, unity and success for the generation to come.

Speaking about Croats living abroad, he said that it was their right to vote for the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) and that the People's Coalition did not hate them for that.

We are together with our neighbours in good as well as in bad times, he said, adding that there was no more war, no more Communists or the other ones.

Kreso Beljak, leader of the Croatian Peasant Party (HSS), a partner in the People's Coalition, addressed the rally as well, receiving the loudest applause from the crowd.

Beljak said that if they won the elections, their political rivals would take Croatia back to the Middle Ages.

"Zeljka Markic, (Zlatan) Hasanbegovic, they are part of a team that would abolish physical training and introduce more religious instruction in schools. They are all part of the same bunch, including those from Canada and Argentina, who do not know that we were Croats and Catholics also before 1991 and survived as a nation regardless of everything. In 1991 members of my generation left their universities and careers to go to the war against the will of their parents and friends and defended the homeland," Beljak said, adding that they were not bragging about it today or asking anyone where they were in 1991.

Commenting on HDZ leader Andrej Plenkovic, Ivan Vrdoljak of the Croatian People's Party (HNS), also a member of the coalition, said that voters should not trust the HDZ's election slogan about the party being a new, credible party because new things could not be credible at the same time.

On the other hand, Milanovic has already led the government and Croatia became better under his leadership, said Vrdoljak, wishing Plenkovic a term in the parliamentary opposition.

The rally was also addressed by Silvano Hrelja, leader of the Croatian Pensioners Party (HSU), the fourth and last member of the People's Coalition, and SDP official Milanka Opacic.

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