Andrej Plenkovic.jpg
Photograph: Hina/ Tomislav Pavlek/ tp

Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) leader Andrej Plenkovic said on Monday that the HDZ would begin talks with other parliamentary parties on Tuesday to form the new government.

"We want the political parties to fulfil their basic duty in society, that institutions function normally and effectively for the benefit of citizens rather than for their own benefit," Plenkovic told a press conference after a three-hour meeting of the HDZ National Council.

The HDZ National Council has decided to conduct negotiations on the formation of the new government based on the HDZ's election platform which is focused on the future, the economy, competitiveness, jobs, demographic policy, social justice and the inclusion of vulnerable groups into society in the best possible way. It is on this platform that a task force has been set up for talks with other parliamentary parties to form the new government, Plenkovic said.

The task force will be led by Plenkovic. He expressed confidence that the HDZ would manage to form a stable government within time frames defined by the constitution and law.

Asked what position the HDZ would take on demands set by the Bridge party, Plenkovic congratulated Bridge on its performance, but noted that the HDZ was a convincing election winner and that it would enter into talks with other parties from that position and on the basis of its electoral platform. He added that some of the Bridge's seven demands could be acceptable, while some required detailed negotiations.

Plenkovic ruled out any possibility of a grand coalition with the Social Democratic Party (SDP), saying that that was out of the question. Asked if he considered forming the government without Bridge, he said that all would be clear in the coming days.

"We are going into this openly, very transparently, with the aim of forming an effective government. The National Council includes ministers who have experience cooperating with Bridge and a few of us who have less operational experience but who are ready to write a new page of cooperation, which requires two sides," the HDZ leader said.

He reiterated that it was natural that a party that was a clear relative winner of an election had the right to have its leader as prime minister.

Asked if he would agree to cooperation with parties of the People's Coalition other than the SDP and the Istrian Democratic Party (IDS), Plenkovic said he would see how things evolved in terms of the coalition's cohesion, adding that the HDZ was open to talks.

Plenkovic said that the HDZ was open to talks with all parliamentary representatives of ethnic minorities. He said that the HDZ, as a member of the European People's Party (EPP), attached great attention to cooperating with the ethnic minorities and respecting their rights. He added that the HDZ expected at the same time that the rights of ethnic Croats in other countries were respected as well.

Related stories

HDZ leader expects progress in talks with Bridge

HDZ contacts Bridge over cooperation

Plenkovic says HDZ candidates deserve chance for fresh start

Plenkovic poised for premiership

Latest news

Trump administration reverses transgender bathroom protections

The Trump administration on Wednesday withdrew Obama-era guidance about the use of school and university bathrooms by transgender students, local media reported.

Several Dakota Access Pipeline protesters arrested as deadline passes

Several people at a camp protesting against a controversial oil pipeline in the US state of North Dakota were arrested Wednesday after a deadline to vacate the land passed, local media reported.

Germany deports 18 rejected asylum seekers to Afghanistan

A Kabul-bound plane with 18 Afghan migrants on board took off from Munich Airport late Wednesday, its passengers becoming the third group of rejected asylum seekers to be deported by German authorities back to Afghanistan.

New Romanian justice minister named after anti-corruption protests

Romanian Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu has named a former judge to be the country's next justice minister, after the previous office holder resigned under pressure from mass anti-corruption protests.

Le Pen's chief of staff indicted in European Parliament jobs probe

The chief of staff of Marine Le Pen, the far-right candidate for president in upcoming French elections, was indicted Wednesday over allegations of irregular reimbursements from the European Parliament, a judicial source told dpa.

Montenegrin police extradites Miodrag Jovic to Croatia

Montenegrin police reported on Wednesday that they extradited to Croatia Miodrag Jovic (48) from Glina, after whom Interpol Zagreb issued an arrest warrant.

Croatian minister attends CoMoCoSEE conference in Albania

Culture Minister Nina Obuljen Korzinek participated in a third conference of the Council of Ministers of Culture of South-Eastern Europe (CoMoCoSEE) that took place in Tirana on February 21-22.

New Somali president asks al-Shabaab to surrender to 'help' country

Somalia's newly elected President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo asked Islamist terrorist group al-Shabaab to surrender in order "to help rebuild" the conflict-ridden East African nation.

Serbia's EU negotiator says minority rights neglected

The head of the Serbia's European Union accession negotiation team, Tanja Miscevic, said in Novi Sad on Wednesday that minority rights had been neglected for many years and added that positive results in that regard cannot be achieved over night, the Beta news agency has reported. 

Scientists: Nearby star's 7 rocky planets are "best bet" for life

New analysis of telescope data shows a dwarf star just 40 light years from Earth has at least seven apparently rocky planets with potential to harbour water, an international team of scientists announced Wednesday.

Croatian PM receives EIB Vice-President

Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic met on Wednesday with European Investment Bank (EIB) Vice-President Dario Scannapieco for talks on the bank's contribution to a new investment cycle in Croatia and its support to the Croatian government to implement key projects, a press release from the government's office said.

Bomb explodes outside police officer's home in Northern Ireland

A bomb exploded outside a police officer's home in Northern Ireland on Wednesday but there were no immediate reports of casualties.