stipe petrina - MOST.jpg
Photograph: HINA /Zvonimir KUHTIĆ/ zk

The Bridge (MOST) party on Sunday resumed a session of its National Council and members of parliament, but without Irena Petrijevcanin Vuksanovic, Gordana Rusak, and Stipe Petrina, who labelled as "disgraceful" President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic's request to talk eye-to-eye with Bridge leader Bozo Petrov after consultations with a Bridge delegation on a prime minister-designate.

"The president behaved disgracefully at the consultations for the new government with the Bridge delegation, which comprised me, two other members and Bridge president Bozo Petrov. The president's conduct was disgraceful in that after about 15 minutes, she asked that we three leave the meeting because she wanted 'to talk eye-to-eye with Mr. Bozo," and what was even more disgraceful was that her advisors assured me that this was customary," Petrina wrote on his Facebook page concerning Thursday's consultations.

He called on the president to publicly say what she had discussed with Petrov. "Did the president give Bozo Petrov guidelines on what to do next concerning the formation of the new government?" he wrote, adding that this "unprecedented incident... cast a long shadow on the president's neutral role in the consultations on the formation of the new government."

However, Bridge spokesman Nikola Grmoja told Hina that he saw no pressure from Grabar-Kitarovic in her request and that Petrov had been surprised by the request too. "On that occasion she asked again if Bridge stuck by its position not to support either the SDP or the HDZ in the formation of the government, which he confirmed. He said that Bridge insisted on a reformist government."

Grmoja said he did not see how that could constitute pressure on the president's part, adding that her convening the inaugural session of the new parliament for December 3 constituted much bigger pressure.

The president's spokesman, Luka Djuric, told Hina that it was the president's right to talk with everyone who won a seat in parliament and that no one in Bridge's delegation, Petrina included, had anything against her talking with Petrov eye-to-eye.

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