Nansi Tireli, Silvano Hrelja, Zoran Milanović i Vesna Pusić.jpg
Photograph: HINA/ Damir SENČAR /ds

The Social Democratic Party-led (SDP) Croatia Is Growing coalition and the Bridge party will not go to Tuesday's consultations with President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic with the 76 signatures required to support a prime minister-designate but request more time to agree, SDP leader Zoran Milanovic and Bridge leader Bozo Petrov said after negotiations at Bridge's offices on Monday.

"They are tough negotiators, but they are in such a position. We respect that and are continuing the talks," Milanovic told reporters.

Asked if they would bring the president tomorrow the required number of signatures of support for a prime minister-designate, Milanovic said he did not think so. "We'll ask for a delay of several days. The president should agree to that without a problem. A couple more days. It's Christmas, but all of this is leading to an agreement."

Milanovic voiced confidence that he enjoyed the support of the partners outside the SDP-led coalition to continue the negotiations with Bridge.

Petrov said everything was positive for now and that he hoped it would continue in a positive direction. "We talked about the division of responsibility by department. We also continued talks on government formation."

Asked if the two sides had agreed on a prime minister-designate, he said they still had no intention of answering that because talks were still under way. "We can define that when all things have been defined."

Petrov confirmed that the two sides would not go to the consultations with the president with the required number of signatures, saying they needed more time because of an additional 24-hour deadline they had given the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) to rejoin the negotiations.

"There are these additional deadlines we have given the HDZ because of equality, which is why we will have to prolong this part. We gave the HDZ a 24-hour deadline which expired today, so this part is taking longer. We won't go to the president with the signatures at this moment. We'll ask for more time," Petrov said.

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