božo petrov.jpg
Bozo Petrov, leader of the Bridge party
Photograph: HINA/ Miljenko KLEPAC/ ua

The leader of the Bridge party and Deputy Prime Minister, Bozo Petrov, said in the northern coastal city of Rijeka on Monday that he believed that ethics and fair play were possible in politics and that this time Bridge would seek stronger guarantees from possible partners and that he was not excluding cooperation with the Social Democratic Party (SDP) but without Milanovic in executive government.

He assessed that because one person had been removed from the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) that did not mean that the situation in the party had changed and that they who toppled the government could not be trusted.

Petrov attended the opening of the Bridge party's offices in Rijeka and toured the university and campus in that city.

This time we will seek stronger guarantees because Croatia doesn't have any more time and I call on them to finally start working for the benefit of all citizens, Petrov said, underscoring that in the past six months "Bridge has set completely new standards." Asked how he would secure such guarantees, he said with "citizens' initiatives and the public we will compel both political groups to accept the guarantees and to be responsible and we will remind citizens of the progress made and to be prepared to go to a referendum for example, if politicians do not to abide by what they have signed."

"As far as SDP is concerned, I'm not sure how we can cooperate with Milanovic who wanted to dupe Bridge in the last parliamentary election and now he has chosen the tactic to quash any relations with Bridge because that suits him because he is afraid that voters with leftist views might vote for Bridge," said Petrov. "That doesn't mean that we are excluding SDP. We just cannot see in what way Milanovic can participate in executive government, particularly in light of everything that has been uncovered in the past month," Petrov said.

Speaking about the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), Petrov said that he could not see how the same senior officials in the party who had toppled the government could be trusted.

Asked what he expected, Petrov said that he expected changes. "I expect changes in the SDP and HDZ and these changes can be seen in who will enter parliament on their behalf as well as in the party leadership because it was obvious that decisions were made exclusively by their party presidents."

Bridge expects at least as many seats as it had in the last parliament and Petrov hopes that citizens have recognised their efforts and work. "The most important thing is that a government will not able to be formed without Bridge whether we win 15 or 30 seats and that is what SDP and HDZ are afraid of," he said.

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