Croatia Enters ‘End-Game’ in Its Post-Election Stalemate
On 14-15 December, Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic held the third round of consultations with elected MPs and parliamentary parties towards naming a PM-delegate and the formation of a new government. On the first day, Grabar-Kitarovic held a joint meeting with representatives of the HDZ-led “Patriotic Coalition” and SDP-led “Croatia is Growing” coalition, and on the second day she held consultations with the Bridge of Independent Lists (MOST) and other parties.
After the consultations, the president addressed the public saying that, once again, no one had the needed 76 majority votes of elected MPs to form a new government. She announced another round of consultations for 22 December, adding that, unfortunately, it was evident there is no room for agreement and much needed unity. “Nevertheless, I will not allow prolonged delays to cause unforeseeable consequences for the stability of the country,” emphasised Grabar-Kitarovic.
Prior to the consultations, President Grabar-Kitarovic met with constitutional law experts – Branko Smerdel (Zagreb), Sanja Baric (Rijeka), Arsen Bacic (Split) and Zvonimir Lauc and Mato Palic (Osijek). They concluded that the president may give a mandate only to a candidate supported by 76 MPs. Furthermore, only the president may convene a Sabor session, after a failed attempt on 8 December, and only she may call new elections. They also concluded that the president may form a technical government, even if the Sabor was constituted in the meantime…