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Croatian PM says parliamentary elections when epidemiological circumstances allow

ZAGREB, April 28 (Hina) – Prime Minster and Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) leader Andrej Plenkovic said on Monday that the parliamentary elections would be held when epidemiological circumstances allow, adding that the party’s bodies had not discussed the election in detail yet.

Our political objective is to have political stability which is made possible thanks to reforms, Plenkovic told the press ahead of a meeting of the HDZ leadership in Zagreb.

We have ensured that for the country. With regard to our top priorities, Croatia is much better now than it was in 2016. Our desire is for the election to be held in this election year when epidemiological circumstances allow that. Today is the first day of gradual lifting of restrictive measures and we will make the decision when the election can be in line with political assessments; however, we have not discussed that in HDZ’s bodies, Plenkovic explained.

We are in an election year, regardless of the fact if they are held this June, July, or September, these are small nuances, he added.

The premier underscored that the most important thing is to beat the coronavirus and for the country to be economically reactivated efficiently as soon as possible.

He believes that the date of the election is less important than, as he said, the circumstances in which everyone will have an equal opportunity for electioneering and for articulating their ideas and platforms.

Plenkovic added that he had not discussed the election with President Zoran Milanovic, recalling that the parliamentary majority will decide when and on what date to dissolve the current parliament.

After the dissolution, in accordance with the Constitution, the president has 30 to 60 days to decide which of the four Sundays, in theory, it is possible to hold the election.

Asked whether he thinks that the opposition will agree to dissolve the parliament, Plenkovic said that the opposition had until now acted fairly courageously but now they seem to be a little less courageous.

Referring to the gradual easing of restrictive measures because of the epidemic, Plenkovic said that he was pleased with the way Croatia managed to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

“The increase in the number of infections at a slower pace compared with other countries, a small number of our citizens who unfortunately died, prove that the government’s measures have brought results. The thing that is important is that we chose health and the lives of our citizens,” he underscored.

He added that the presented economic and social measures were accepted exceptionally well and they are strong support provided by the state for the economy, private sector, employees, and the private sector.

Opposition has a lot to be unhappy about

Plenkovic denied that the National Civil Protection Authority was politicised and dismissed claims that this crisis management team had turned into an election campaign headquarters.

He recalled that the COVID-19 crisis management team was appointed by the government and that it consists of people who represent government departments and who have a political term that the government assigned them.

“The Opposition obviously has a lot of reason to be unhappy. I can understand that. This same Opposition has tried to bring down the government several times. They launched motions for no-confidence votes. Not one month went by without a similar motion. Now they can see how we are handling essential challenges and that is making them a little unsatisfied,” said Plenkovic.

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