Deputy Prime Minister and Bridge party leader Bozo Petrov said on Friday he was confident that parliament would not conduct a vote of no confidence in First Deputy PM and HDZ leader Tomislav Karamarko and that the Patriotic Coalition would nominate a candidate to replace him.
"I hope there will be no vote and that Mr Karamarko will assume responsibility and that the Patriotic Coalition will nominate another candidate for the post of first deputy prime minister. As for the president of the HDZ, we see no problem if the party's members leave the possibility that Mr Karamarko stay party president. We won't meddle in that," Petrov told a news conference.
Asked if Bridge would stay in the government if Karamarko stayed in it, Petrov said the Bridge National Council would decide on that. "We are not for a new election, but neither can we assume the role in which we should back a model in which there are calculations and choosing the lesser damage. Simply put, we can't have that choice because we would betray our principles, on which there can be no compromise."
Petrov said there were very good and honest people in the government who cared that something was started and whose priorities were patriotic. "The policy of compromise in which it wasn't clearly defined what people in office can do has led to this state of affairs in Croatian society, but there are people in the government who want to do a good job. That's why I've always said that the government is doing its job well."
Petrov said he believed that what Karamarko said about the love for the homeland was not a lie. "I don't know, perhaps he isn't aware of the weight of certain relations and why we must bear responsibility, also for indirect ties, which is what has become a burden to our government. I believe he had different and better plans. Perhaps it's hypocritical to ask others to make sacrifices... but if we have a common and identical goal, then I see no reason why we can't do something good for Croatia, even if others saw it as a fall or a rise."
Asked if Bridge was leaving the government, Petrov said this was not an option at the moment. "We have clearly said that our goal is to stabilise the government, but we also can't choose the lesser damage, which is why we have said that, aside from preserving the government, we also want to set different standards in politics." He hoped that others would start seeing it like that too.
Petrov said that at this moment 12 Bridge MPs were united with regard to Karamarko while three had decided differently, Ivica Misic, Jure Martinovic and "one I don't know about."