petrov božo.jpg
Photograph: HINA/ Tomislav Pavlek /ik

The leader of the Most (Bridge) party, Bozo Petrov, reiterated on Tuesday that this party would not enter into a coalition either with the centre-left SDP or the centre-right HDZ and that all elected members of parliament from this party were united in this view.

"Media spins and pressure on Bridge are increasing, calculating which political group we will support. We have stressed on several occasions, and I have confirmed it in a statement certified by a notary-public, that there will be no coalition either with the SDP or the HDZ. All our members of parliament are united on this. After meetings and consultations which we are having today and tomorrow, we will come out with our proposal and open negotiations on cooperation (not on a coalition) with both the SDP and the HDZ," Petrov said in a statement.

He dismissed as "absolutely untrue" lists of reforms carried by the media which his party allegedly insisted on, as well as speculation about ministerial posts they were allegedly seeking from the two large coalitions. "We are not interested in positions, they are not the motive for our engagement in politics."

Petrov said that both the SDP and the HDZ were well aware "who they are dealing with and know that any such pressure might be counterproductive for them."

Petrov said after a meeting of the party's National Council on Monday evening that this week they would hold official talks with the HDZ-led Patriotic Coalition and the SDP's Croatia Is Growing coalition on conditions under which they would support the new government in parliament.

He confirmed that he had been contacted by representatives of the two coalitions, but stressed that those were not official contacts. He said that official talks would begin after they sat at the table to present their conditions and see which side would agree to them.

The newly-established Bridge party holds a key to forming the new government after capturing 19 seats in the 151-seat parliament in Sunday's parliamentary elections. The HDZ coalition won 59 seats and the SDP coalition 56. The remaining 17 seats were split among five smaller parties and representatives of the ethnic minorities.

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