Bridge party president Bozo Petrov said on Sunday he too was surprised when, during consultations in the president's office, he was asked to talk with the president alone for five minutes, but added that he was told that this was the usual procedure and that the president wanted to once again warn about responsibility and the gravity of the situation concerning government formation.

"In that part of the meeting, (the president) just warned once again that such situations call for responsibility, that the situation is quite difficult, which is what we have been trying to tell both the HDZ and the SDP," Petrov told reporters after a session of Bridge's National Council.

He would not answer questions about Bridge member Stipe Petrina, who earlier today criticised President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic for talking with Petrov eye-to-eye during Thursday's consultations on a prime minister-designate.

Petrov said he believed that the president tried to once again warn about the gravity of the situation and the need for unity, which Bridge advocated too. He said Bridge was trying to explain the situation to the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) and Social Democratic Party (SDP) and that it was really essential to form a joint reformist government.

"The only thing I disagree with is this pressure from the president's office for such an early inauguration of parliament. We don't agree with that but we will try to work so that parliament can be constituted," Petrov said. The president called parliament's inaugural session for December 3.

Asked if Bridge would nominate the parliament speaker, Petrov said the party insisted on reform proposals and that only once they were agreed with the HDZ or the SDP would it be possible to talk positions.

He said that Petrina and the two MPs of the Hrid party who did not attend today's National Council meeting, Irena Petrijevcanin Vuksanovic and Gordana Rusak, had until Thursday to decide if they would be part of Bridge's parliamentary group.

Rusak told the media that she did not attend the session because the National Council decided yesterday that only the MPs who belonged to Bridge's parliamentary group had the right to vote.

Rusak said she joined the Bridge platform with the Hrid association, which became a political party on November 23, and that she was now a member of the Hrid party.

"Within the Bridge of Independent Slates, other political parties and associations are also active and this isn't about one party called Bridge. The joint wish of us all are reforms and this is the basic platform which connects us and for which we received citizens' confidence. I didn't sign to join the Bridge of Independent Slates parliamentary group because the focus should be on the reforms which we want to implement, and not belonging to this or that group, party or association," Rusak said in a press release.

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