božo petrov.jpg
Photograph: HINA/ Damir SENČAR /ds

The Bridge party leader Bozo Petrov, who on Monday suggested a seven-day deadline to the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) leaders to respond to Bridge's proposal that his party and their respective coalitions jointly nominate a non-partisan prime minister-designate told the press after the meeting that he expected a response from the two blocs and described today's meeting as historic.

"Today's offer is only a proposal to which they have to respond to and make their proposals and models of how to reach an agreement. What is important, is that there is a consensus from all the three sides. That is what is necessary now considering the current state of affairs in Croatia," Petrov said. 

I would hope that that this was just the first meeting of this kind in a series of future meetings at which we will agree on concerted action. To begin with, it is crucial to decide whether talks can continue in this tone, Petrov said.

After that we can take enough time to develop our joint activities acceptable to both coalitions (the SDP-led "Croatia is Growing" and the HDZ-led Patriotic Coalition) and to Bridge, to the common well-being of Croatia, Petrov said.

There is also a possibilities that both blocs turn down Bridge's proposal. "In that case, new elections will be held," Petrov said.

If only one coalition accedes to (our proposal), we will continue working together in line with the model we have proposed, without closing the door to the other coalition if it wants to accept the agreement in the meantime, he said.

The SDP leader Zoran Milanovic said shortly after the meeting that the public could have heard everything that happened at today's meeting as it  had been broadcasted live.

The HDZ leader Tomislav Karamarko said briefly that he was satisfied with today's meeting.

At the very start of the meeting Petrov said that "the most important thing at this point is a consensus of all three sides on a non-partisan candidate jointly proposed by all the parties involved. After that we should agree on who will be the speaker of parliament, ministers, committee chairs and others, but the most important thing is this first step." Petrov called on the two leaders to state their views on the proposal.

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