The majority of parliamentary groups have been formed ahead of the first working session of the Croatian parliament scheduled for Wednesday, January 20 and talks are under way to form approximately 30 working bodies.

A total of 10 parliamentary groups have been constituted so far while the Bridge reformist party and the group representing six ethnic minorities are expected to form their parliamentary groups in the near future.

Parliamentary groups have been formed by the two biggest parties -- the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) and the Social Democratic party (SDP) -- as well as by the Croatian People's Party (HNS). A joint, three-member group was formed by the Croatian Social Liberal Party (HSLS), the BUZ pensioners party, while the Croatian Party of Rights Ante Starcevic formed its own three-member group, as did the Croatian Labour Party.

The parliamentary group led by Zagreb Mayor Milan Bandic will be joined by ethnic minority deputies Ermina Lekaj Prljaskaj and Vladimir Bilek, while the one led by the Istrian Democratic Party will be joined by Italian minority deputy Furio Radin. Two deputies of the Independent Democratic Serb Party (SDSS) formed a parliamentary group with Reformist Radimir Cacic.

Several deputies have not yet joined any parliamentary group, including the leaders of the Croatian Peasant party (HSS) and the Zivi Zid (Human Shield) party, Branko Hrg and Ivan Vilibor Sincic respectively.

According to unofficial information, the ruling and opposition parliamentary deputies have already launched talks which are proceeding without delay. The opposition should be in charge of the parliamentary Home Affairs and National Security Committee and a minority deputy is expected to be at the helm of the Human and Ethnic Minority Rights Committee. It is expected that Furio Radin will be appointed to that position.

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