Croatia's Social Democratic Party (SDP) member of the European Parliament, Tonino Picula, said on Monday that he would decide on his possible candidacy for the post of the party's leader after consulting people in the field and seeing whether he enjoyed grassroots support.
"After the consultations I will decide in what way I will participate in the forthcoming party election," Picula told Hina when asked if he would run for the SDP leader after the incumbent Zoran Milanovic announced his withdrawal from the race.
"I am not running away from responsibility, and if these consultations with people convince me that I will have sufficient support in the campaign, I will definitely take up the challenge and run for leadership," he said, adding that he would announce his decision after the party's bodies, namely the Presidency and the Main Committee, decided on an election convention.
Asked about his chances of being elected, Picula said that that would be decided by the party's membership. At yesterday's election voters didn't give the SDP a chance to form a new government, and it is only fitting that the party members discuss it now, he added.
Picula would not comment on Milanovic's decision not to run for another term as the SDP's chief.
"I wouldn't talk about Zoran Milanovic. My activities in the party will focus, first and foremost, on the political situation in the party, on the legacy of the time that has ended in a serious electoral failure, and I would like, with the support of others, to mend the present situation, make the party capable of winning elections again and offer people policies that will encourage them to vote. Yesterday we witnessed a very low voter turnout, and I am certain that the SDP partly contributed to that," he said.