Arsen Bauk, Public Administration Minister in the caretaker government, said on Friday that his Social Democratic Party (SDP) was ready for a new round of negotiations on the formation of a parliamentary majority and a new government, as well as for a new election, whether it be held in four months or four years.

"This is the first time we have a situation of this kind at the state level, but at the local level there have been many situations that were decided by a third political camp. In some of those situations a new election was held and in some an agreement was reached," Bauk said ahead of a trade union meeting he was to attend as a guest.

Asked about yesterday's failed attempt to inaugurate the parliament, Bauk said that the position of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) had not been known until Davorin Mlakar stated it.

"The evening before they said that their (the HDZ's) candidate for Parliament Speaker was Zeljko Reiner and that they would have to think about it a little bit more. The next morning they had a meeting of their club of deputies and thought about it some more and then they came to the parliament hall and thought again; maybe because of too much thinking they forgot to state their position. The parliamentary procedure is clear, to appoint the parliament speaker, someone must nominate him, 50 odd deputies must do so with their signatures. Maybe they (the HDZ) had somewhere a sheet of paper with signatures which they did not show, I can't be sure," said Bauk.

Bauk said that it was very unfair of the HDZ to have pressured (outgoing Parliament Speaker) Josip Leko because his duty was only to state who the candidate was, to open a discussion and to put (the proposal) to a vote, which he did.

"Everything else could have been done before the session, however, that was not up to the outgoing parliament speaker but to the parties that have been elected to the parliament. The SDP and Bridge had discussions in that regard and their outcome was that Bridge agrees to nominating Robert Podolnjak as its candidate for Parliament Speaker. Bridge representatives then had a meeting with the HDZ, we don't know what they talked about but it was clear at that moment that if the HDZ supported Podolnjak, he would accept the candidacy. They could have said it before the session but they wanted to make a show in the parliament, they are still in the opposition mode and they should stay that way," said Bauk.

Related stories

New parliament fails to appoint its speaker

Bridge MP disappointed with failed attempt of new parliament

New parliament to hold inauguaral meeting Monday

Bridge to back HDZ nominee for Parliament Speaker

Latest news

Syrian opposition rules out future role for President al-Assad

The Syrian opposition said Friday it would not accept any role for President Bashar al-Assad in the future of the war-torn country, reacting to a recent US shift saying that removing al-Assad is no longer a priority for Washington.

Russian Army integrates breakaway forces of Georgian province

Parts of the small fighting forces of the Georgian breakaway province of South Ossetia have been placed under Russian military control, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Friday.

Czech Republic's Pilsner Urquell beer is now Japanese

Japanese brewing company Asahi completed its takeover of the Czech brewery Pilsner Urquell on Friday, Asahi said in a statement.

Judge approves 25-million-dollar settlement of Trump University case

A US district judge on Friday approved a 25-million-dollar settlement of lawsuits and state fraud allegations against Trump University, the US president's now-defunct business venture.

Former Thai premier Thaksin to junta on reconciliation: 'Cut me out'

Former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra on Friday announced that he is not interested in the junta-led reconciliation process, three days after the junta handed him a half-a-billion-dollar tax bill for his past business deal.

Dalic: We welcome possible deal between Agrokor and banks

The government welcomes the possibility of an agreement being concluded between the Agrokor food company and creditor banks, and the bill on vitally important companies is not a fallback plan but the result of the government's care for the overall economic and financial stability of Croatia, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy Martina Dalic told a press conference in Zagreb on Friday.

Croatia, China sign action plan for cooperation in agriculture

The Croatian and Chinese ministries of agriculture on Friday signed an action plan for cooperation in the field of agriculture for the period 2017-2018, the Croatian ministry said in a statement.

ZSE indices up, Agrokor shares in focus of investor interest

The Zagreb Stock Exchange (ZSE) indices on Friday rose by more than 1.8%, with stocks of the Agrokor food and retail concern being in the focus of investor interest again.

Berlin police defend handling of Berlin market attacker

Berlin police defended themselves on Friday against accusations that they stopped surveillance on Berlin Christmas market attacker despite knowing in June 2016 he was dangerous.

Croatia, creditors tailor emergency measures to save tottering giant

Croatia's tottering retail and food giant Agrokor reached an agreement with its creditors, putting its debts standby and allowing it to continue working during emergency restructuring, the Croatian branch of Austria's Erste Bank said Friday.

Agrokor's creditors say standstill agreement to go into force today

A standstill agreement regarding the Agrokor concern's existing financial obligations to banks will take effect on Friday, additional capital will be injected into the concern in the coming days and the concern will be actively restructured, which includes a change of its management, it was said on Friday after a meeting between Agrokor's suppliers and creditor banks.

Palestinians, UN slam Israel's new settlement plan

Palestinians, Israeli activists and the UN lambasted the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday, a day after it gave the go-ahead for the first new West Bank settlement in a quarter of a century.

South Sudan rebels release three abducted foreign oil workers

South Sudanese rebels have released three foreign engineers they abducted in early March in the oil-rich Upper Nile region, Foreign Affairs Ministry official Mawein Makol Arik said on Friday.

Turkish opposition: Imprisoned party chief has gone on hunger strike

The head of Turkey's pro-Kurdish opposition party has launched a hunger strike from prison.

European leagues threaten Champions League schedule clashes

The European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL) on Friday threatened schedule clashes on Champions League matchdays in an ongoing dispute with the governing body UEFA.

Danish court revokes citizenship of IS volunteer

A Danish appellate court on Friday stripped a man of his Danish citizenship for volunteering to fight for the extremist Islamic State in Syria.

Banks and Agrokor agree on key elements of standstill agreement

Member banks of the coordinating committee of financial creditors and representatives of the Agrokor food company have in principle agreed on key elements of a standstill agreement, which is expected to be signed later today, announcing changes in the company's management team, Erste Bank said in a statement on Friday afternoon.

Syrian man on trial in Sweden; mosque attack labelled terrorism

A Syrian man went on trial Friday in the southern Swedish city of Malmo, charged with terrorism and arson after an attack last year on a building used as an assembly hall by Shiite Muslims.