Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) leader Andrej Plenkovic said on Monday that the party would run independently in the September parliamentary election, adding that with some partners cooperation would be formed in individual constituencies.

"The presidency, the National Council and the Main Committee have agreed that the HDZ will run independently at the national level while cooperation with individual partners will be realised in individual constituencies, some of whom we have had cooperation with until now and some who weren't in the Patriotic Coalition. That is the key and that is the approach for the September election," Plenkovic underscored after the party's senior bodies met on Monday.

He added that Domagoj Ivan Milosevic had been relieved of his duty as the party's secretary-general and that Gordan Jandrokovic was unanimously appointed to that position.

Plenkovic added that members of the Patriotic Coalition would be advised of the party's position. He believes that today's decisions reflect the attitude of the majority of the party's bodies and officials.

"We will agree on cooperation on a platform and I think that it will be a recognisable cooperation among centre-right parties," he added.

Asked what will happen with the cooperation between the HDZ and Croatian Party of Rights - AS (HSP - AS), he said that this was the only partner that insisted on a national-level coalition. However, HDZ's party bodies have agreed to a different approach and the party's political secretary Davor Ivo Stier clearly stated that during the morning, he added.

He explained that during talks on Saturday with coalition partners in the Patriotic Coalition they clearly identified their positions, however on Sunday HSP AS's secretary-general made statements that were contradictory to what the HDZ had offered. He added that as the leader of the HDZ he would not allow any party of partner to intimidate his party.

"We respect rightist principles and everything HSP AS has given us, however, in the new circumstances we have a new concept that we believe will succeed in the September election," he stressed.

He added that the HDZ was conducting talks with Drago Prgomet from the Hrid party and other parties and that the HDZ would make its decision in the middle of the week. He confirmed that Ruza Tomasic of the Croatian Conservative Party was in contact with the HDZ, however, a decision had not been made about that party. The HDZ will also make a decision in the middle of the week concerning cooperation with the BUZ pensioners' party, Hrast, Hrvatska Zora and so on.

Plenkovic answered affirmatively that the Patriotic Coalition no longer existed.

"Not in the way it has until now, however, above all because the HSS (Croatian Peasants' Party), one of the key parties in the Patriotic Coalition decided to withdraw from it," he said.

He underscored that they had decided to go to the election in that way because the HDZ is the pivotal, politically constructive and the strongest Croatian party and as the new leader he wishes for that to be clearly seen at the September election. "We are approaching it (the election) boldly based on similarity in platforms with junior partners and want to create a synergy where that is possible and necessary. But in a way in which the HDZ's leading position is clear to everyone-- our members, our partners and the public," he said.

He announced that the party's senior officials would be introduced to the party's draft election platform on Wednesday and that it would be presented to the public next week. He underscored that the election platform will consist of five key points - reviving the HDZ's credibility, forecasting political stability in the country, securing the rule-of-law, as well as a quality framework for the economic growth and developing and implementing Christian principles, solidarity and fundamental social rights and inclusion.

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