ZAGREB – Who can count to 76?

Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, the relative winner of Sunday’s parliamentary elections (5 July), claims to already have the support of 76 MPs necessary for a majority. His ruling HDZ (EPP) won 66 seats, meaning it is 10 short of getting the mandate to form a new government.

Yet, according to Plenković’s spokesman, the PM has already secured the support of eight minority MPs, and 2 liberal ones.

Plenković still wishes to expand his majority in the following days and stabilise his government ahead of turbulent autumn.

Several prominent party members have expressed a desire to cooperate with the regional party of Istria IDS (Renew Europe), offering them a reform of regional government. Experts argue that Plenković wishes to avoid cooperation with right-wing Homeland Movement and Bridge party, as his long-term plan is to push the HDZ more towards the centre.

On the other side of the political spectrum, SDP leader Davor Bernardić resigned as party president. The inter-party elections are scheduled for September, and leadership will be discharged by Bernardić’s close ally Zlatko Komadina.

MEP Biljana Borzan is believed to be the best choice for a more moderate and pro-European path but it is not sure she would agree to run, though she was the first one to ask for Bernardić’s resignation after the election debacle.

Former minister of administration Arsen Bauk, as well as MPs Peđa Grbin and Siniša Hajdaš-Dončić, are expected to announce their candidacies in the following weeks.   

(Tea Trubić Macan |

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