The leaders of the four-party People's Coalition, speaking after submitting the coalition's slate to the State Electoral Commission (DIP) on Wednesday, said that they expected victory at the early election scheduled for September 11, while the leader of the senior coalition partner, Zoran Milanovic, called on citizens to give the coalition their trust.
"We were in government eight months ago, since then we haven't been and Croatia knows what the difference is. We are inviting people, calling on them to give us their trust," the leader of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) said.
The SDP, the Croatian People's Party (HN), the Croatian Peasant Party (HSS) and the Croatian Pensioners' Party (HSU) expect to win at the parliamentary election and are ready to come to grips with a lot of difficult issues. "We expect to bring an end to the eight months of dangerous experimenting, which is still continuing because we still have people representing the government who are supported by the HDZ (Croatian Democratic Union) and Bridge, who are adopting unlawful decisions," Milanovic said.
Former agriculture minister Tihomir Jakovina withdrew from the coalition's slate of his own will and there are "no sordid details" there and he will be replaced by Marta Luc Polanc, a young lawyer from Slavonski Brod, the SDP chief said.
"Jakovina withdrew of his own accord. He called me and said that he didn't wish to take part. That was his decision. He told me everything, just as he has written and there are no sordid details," Milanovic said, adding that Jakovina had not broken the law and that in future there would be certain bonuses and awards for those who do their job well, referring to the scandal in the Hrvatske Sume forest management authority and the huge bonuses for the authority's CEOs that Jakovina had approved while the SDP was in power.
"Is there anything wrong in that? What used to happen before was a thousand times worse. This was good and done with good intentions. But that was his decision. As such, we have a sure direction for Croatia. The difference is huge and we will fight to continue the positive trends we initiated in 2015 and before that," Milanovic said.
"We want to be a stable model for Croatia, a sure direction. When we become the strongest option at the election we want to cooperate with anyone who wishes well for Croatia. At the moment it is too early to say who that will be exactly. HDZ has to reform substantially. They should make it clear that anyone who has been charged with crimes cannot be in their party. Only in that way will HDZ's leadership and their new president convince me that they are people with authority and that they mean something and want changes," Milanovic added.
Commenting on a reporter's remark that that meant that he was not rejecting the idea of cooperation with the HDZ, Milanovic said "at the moment that is unrealistic because the People's Coalition is heading toward a victory that will secure a stable and responsible majority in parliament, a majority that will be in a position to adopt decisions and to deal with the decisions by the government that was toppled and is continuing to make decisions with the full support of Bridge and HDZ," he said.