Šuica certainly on slate; Plenković undecided on Stier yet



Tonino Picula

The SDP has collected proposals from county chapters, with Biljana Borzan getting most votes and Tonino Picula next.

On Saturday, the Social Democratic Party (SDP) determined a list of some 30 names as the basis for a later shortlist of 12 candidates for the party slate in the next May European parliamentary elections.

The list was compiled from proposals of county chapters and includes the names of the current SDP-affiliated MEPs, Biljana Borzan and Tonino Picula — the two who received the greatest number of nominations. Borzan was nominated by 17 county chapters [out of the total of 21] and Picula by 14. The list also includes Rajko Ostojić, nominated by 8 chapters, Zlatko Komadina (7), Joško Klisović and Ivana Posavec Krivec (4), followed by Davorko Vidović, Romana Jerković, Ranko Ostojić, Gordan Maras... According to announcements, the final slate should be set by the party Presidency and the Main Committee sometime early December. On Saturday Picula said it would be good if the SDP to win three seats in the EP; everything below that would be a failure.

No partner

SDP appears to be ahead of the other parties in preparations for the EU elections. While they are already dealing with specific candidates, the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) chief Andrej Plenković could only say on Saturday that this party would most likely run on its own, but added that they had not really discussed the issue yet. A few days ago, HDZ's MEP Dubravka Šuica said a similar thing.

— There has been no official discussion of the EU elections and candidates yet — an HDZ source has told us. — Maybe a narrow circle around Plenković is considering it, but no details are making the rounds yet. However, the rumor is that Šuica is certain to make the slate, given her good relations with Plenković.

— There is a story that Plenković wants to see Minister Gabrijela Žalac on the slate, too, said our source. — At the moment it's still just speculation. Mayor of Zaprešić Željko Turk is said to want a place on the slate. I think Ivana Maletić could be on the slate again, and I think a number of younger people and Plenković's friends could also make it.

It is not certain whether a place will be found for fomer MEP Davor Ivo Stier. — It should be done if Plenković wants to attract the votes of the conservatives — believes a party member — but everything depends on how deep their personal conflict is.

Civic-Liberal Alliance (GLAS) president Anka Mrak Taritaš, Istrian Democratic Council (IDS) chief Boris Miletić and Primorje-Gorski Kotar Alliance (PGS) vice-president Tea Mičić Badurina, who met in Opatija over the weekend, announced at the Sunday press briefing that their coalition would present its platform and all 12 candidates for the European Parliament within a month.

Mrak Taritaš said she expected them to win two EP seats. She added that they had had three rounds of talks with the Peasants' Party (HSS) over the possibility of joining the coalition. Earlier in the day, the HSS Presidency reported on its decision to begin proper negotiations with GLAS and IDS next week on the joint running in the EU elections. The party has also appointed a negotiating team, comprising party president Krešo Beljak, vice-president Davor Vlaović and party secretary Ilija Ćorić.

HNS's problem

If the HDZ does decide to run on its own, its coalition partner, the People's Party (HNS) will find itself in an unenviable position. In the last elections, the HNS was part of the so-called 'Kukuriku coalition' with the SDP and won one seat. When approached, the party did not want to reveal any plans at the moment, unofficially mentioning only "talks in progress", and saying that everything would be known by the end of the year. The race will also include the 'Neovisni za Hrvatsku' (Independent for Croatia) party of Zlatko Hasanbegović and Bruna Esih, but nothing is known about their slate yet. They say there is still enough time for preparations.

Judging by her recent statement to Jutarnji list, also running may be former Chairwoman of the Conflict of Interest Assessment Commission Dalija Orešković. She said she was "thinking about testing her political strength and ideas as early as in the European Parliament elections next May".

Inačica na drugom jeziku / Alternate language version