andrej plenković.jpg
Andrej Plenkovic, candidate for president of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ). Election for president of the Croatian Democratic Union are scheduled for 17. July 2016.
Photograph: HINA/ Damir SENČAR/ ds

Member of the European Parliament Andrej Plenkovic of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), the only party member who has announced that he will run for party president so far, said on Tuesday he applauded the decisions the party Presidency made yesterday regarding preparations for an early parliamentary election.

Speaking to Croatian reporters in Brussels, Plenkovic said it was very important that the HDZ prepared for the parliamentary polls in time as well as for the election of its new president before that.

Asked if it would be democratic if he were the only candidate for HDZ president, Plenkovic said he was for democratisation but that he could not force anyone to participate in intra-party elections.

Plenkovic said he was ready for public duels with political opponents during the parliamentary election campaign. He said the HDZ's campaign would be based on key issues for Croatian citizens - the economy, social issues, and better utilisation of European Union membership.

He said the HDZ worked on a "very detailed programme" with the Bavarian IFO institute before last year's parliamentary election "and I think that now it's the time to update that programme and see, in cooperation with our partners in the European People's Party, what the best solutions for Croatia in 2016 are."

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