Milijan Brkić Demands Karamarko’s Resignation

By 5 June 2016

Turmoil spreads to HDZ as well – deputy party president joins calls for Karamarko to leave the government.

The government crisis which is threatening with the fall of the government and new elections has now spread to HDZ as well. A dramatic session of the new HDZ Presidency on Saturday lasted for three and a half hours and demonstrated that HDZ is not united, especially when it comes to relationship between deputy party president Milijan Brkić and HDZ president and First Deputy Prime Minister Tomislav Karamarko, reports Večernji List on June 5, 2016.

Milijan Brkić for the first time openly opposed Karamarko and his suggestion to try to reshuffle the government coalition without MOST, and to go to early parliamentary elections if that attempt fails. According to media sources, Brkić said at the meeting that it would be best if Karamarko were to resign from the government, so that the HDZ-MOST government could survive and new elections be avoided. Although Brkić had the support of newly-elected party vice president Ivana Maletić and Presidency member Ivan Anušić, head of the Osijek-Baranja County branch, after heated debate only Maletić abstained, while Brkić did not even vote.

Brkić opposes new elections because he believes the results would be devastating for HDZ, since he obviously does not think it is possible to reshuffle the ruling coalition. MOST has been demanding Karamarko's resignation for days, and on Friday Prime Minister Tihomir Orešković demanded his resignation, as well as the resignation of MOST leader and other Deputy Prime Minister Božo Petrov, since their disagreements had become an excessive burden to the government. It is believed that the move was designed to enable an honorable retreat from the government to Karamarko.

On Saturday, Brkić reportedly asked Karamarko who gave him the right to announce on Friday afternoon that Prime Minister Orešković no longer had the trust of HDZ and that HDZ would bring down the Prime Minister and the government in Parliament, since no such decision had been made by any official party body.

Other point which caused disagreements within HDZ on Saturday was the appointment of new party secretary general. Karamarko proposed for the post Domagoj Ivan Milošević, former Deputy Prime Minister during the government of Jadranka Kosor. Milošević has lost all the elections for party bodies within HDZ and has no authority among party members. According to reports, Karamarko awarded him with the post because he is currently leading negotiations with national minorities MPs to support HDZ in the potential reshuffle. Despite the opposition, Milošević was ultimately elected as the new party secretary general, as a successor to Milijan Brkić who was elected deputy party president last week.