Nine long-standing members of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) on Saturday requested that the leader Tomislav Karamarko should step down from all positions he had in the HDZ, which, they believe, will pave the way for the election of a new leadership that can prepared the party for the forthcoming snap parliamentary vote.
The nine founders of the HDZ say in a press release that the HDZ under Karamarko's chairmanship was a discontinuation of the party policy pursued by Franjo Tudjman, the founder and the first president of the HDZ and Croatia.
They also criticise Karamarko for a failed policy which they label as the main cause why the HDZ did not manage to ensure a victory at the previous parliamentary election although Croatia had been then led by the "most unsuccessful (SDP) government" at the time.
They recall that the HDZ came to power in January (after the inconclusive parliamentary election in November 2015), "exclusively thanks to the political will of the Bridge party".
The government (established in late January) has been in permanent conflict with Karamarko due "to his dissatisfaction with his position and role in that government," the disgruntled founders write. Karamarko was Deputy Prime Minister in the cabinet led by non-partisan Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic, and this cabinet was given a vote of no confidence last Thursday following the HDZ-sponsored motion to that effect.
The nine founders believe that Karamarko's dissatisfaction and conflict led to the developments resulting in the topple of the Oreskovic cabinet.
They point an accusing finger at Karamarko for the situation in which the HDZ leadership, together with the Social Democratic Party (SDP), ousted its own government.
A few days ago, the four members of the European Parliament from the HDZ raised their voice against the HDZ plan to topple the Oreskovic cabinet.
They said in a letter to their party colleagues in the national legislature that the interests of the state, government and party come before those of any individual and that toppling the government is not in the nation's interest.
"We are convinced that the interests of the state, government and party come before the interests of any individual. At the moment we believe that the stability and functioning of the government which the HDZ formed is in the nation's interest rather than its toppling. We express our solidarity with you and call on you to vote according to your conscience for Croatia's well being," said the letter signed by MEPs Dubravka Suica, Ivana Maletic, Andrej Plenkovic and Davor Stier.
Nevertheless, HDZ lawmakers persisted in the motion and the government was toppled this past Thursday.