Mirko Raskovic, an elected member of Parliament from the Independent Democratic Serb Party (SDSS), left the party on Monday, SDSS vice-president Milorad Pupovac confirmed to Hina.

Asked if it was true that Raskovic had left the SDSS, Pupovac replied with a brief text message: "He did, today at 08:01 hours, by a letter to the SDSS president and presidency."

The SDSS bodies recently decided to support the left-wing Croatia Is Growing coalition to form a government, of which Pupovac informed President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic last Thursday, however Raskovic asked to be received by Grabar-Kitarovic separately and after the meeting, he told reporters that he had asked her to protect him politically because his party was pressuring him regarding his support for prime minister-designate.

Raskovic said at the time that several people were pressuring him and asking him to do what was against his conscience and that he would support, as a minority MP, the coalition that manages to win the majority support of members of Parliament.

Pupovac then called on him publicly to say who was exerting pressure on him and who he had met with the day before consultations at the president's office.

The Vecernji List daily today carried a statement by SDSS president Vojislav Stanimirovic that the SDSS did not intend to expel Raskovic from the party but talk to him and ask him who had threatened and blackmailed him.

The daily also carried Pupovac's statement that he expected Raskovic to return to the SDSS the parliamentary seat he won as a candidate on the SDSS slate in the November 8 parliamentary election and that Raskovic won slightly more than 2,000 votes in Knin and around 8,000 votes in the entire country - owing to the SDSS.

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