The Bridge (MOST) party on Friday dismissed interpretations according to which it is running from responsibility and said that "public pressure on hasty decision-making on the formation of the new government is unrealistic and unacceptable."

Bridge, which won 19 seats in Sunday's parliamentary election, said in a press release that as soon as the election results were released, it opened talks on possible post-election cooperation with the HDZ (Croatian Democratic Union) and the SDP (Social Democratic Party), offering the possibility of cooperation on a broad platform instead of the formation of the government with only one of them.

The election process is not over and past experience shows that a new government is usually formed within a month, Bridge said. "Any pressure and rushing of the talks with the HDZ and the SDP can lead to an 'us and them' version to which Bridge does not agree, yet this is what these two parties are pushing for with this indirect pressure. Bridge gives precedence to the agreement of structural reforms which will result in Croatia's well-being and not in partial interest positions, including that of Bridge."

The party said that the meetings held with the HDZ and the SDP so far were initial ones and that "public pressure on hasty decision-making on the formation of the new government is unrealistic and unacceptable."

"At those meetings it was agreed to first start aligning the main platform positions and the desired direction of structural reforms and changes," Bridge said, adding that next week, after the publication of the official election results, it would "submit to both parties an official proposal of structural reforms and changes as well as a possible make-up of the new government."

Bridge said that already with its initial proposal it had shown willingness to participate in the government, up to the highest level, by not making ultimatums. "Therefore we reject pressure which makes it seem, entirely incorrectly, that Bridge is running from responsibility. On the contrary, it is precisely because of that willingness to assume maximum responsibility that we don't want to bring, with partial combinations, either the HDZ or the SDP, and then ourselves, into a stalemate because of which talks would be blocked."

The party stressed that there was time to form the new government. "Bridge will spend this time to built stable frameworks of authority, both legislative and executive. At the last election, Croatia got a chance for a responsible policy, a policy which does not agree to panic and behind-the-scenes scenarios. We once again invite both the HDZ and the SDP not to undermine that chance."

Bridge will not enter either parliament or the government "because of positions, any offers under the table or scared with pressure. Next week we want to see only measures for Croatia's structural recovery on the table."

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