MOST Denies That Božo Petrov Will Resign as Party President

By 9 February 2016

Growing pains for the organisation of MOST. 

In a post published yesterday evening on their official Facebook page, MOST has denied that Božo Petrov will resign as party president. "Božo Petrov will remain as the MOST leader. If there are some changes, their only goal will be to reinforce the party structure so that in the future we could become the strongest political party in Croatia", MOST announced, reports Jutarnji List on February 9, 2016.

The statement followed reports in the media that Božo Petrov was planning to withdraw as MOST president. The leader of the political group which became a surprise after the recent parliamentary elections had reportedly been searching for a person who would take over the operational management of the youngest party on the Croatian political scene.

Petrov, who has gained his popularity thanks to being the most vocal advocate of reforms in the country, reportedly came to the conclusion that MOST should definitely become a real political party, with its own official membership, local branches, expert councils and infrastructure which would enable it to remain an important political player in the future. He recently became the Deputy Prime Minister and is still the Mayor of Metković, so it is possible that he assessed that he would not have enough time to devote himself to strengthening the party.

Unofficial information published by the media said that Petrov was inclined to propose Ivan Kovačić, the Mayor of Omiš and a university professor from the School of Medicine in Split, as the new party president. Kovačić joined MOST at the very beginning, at the time when the project conceived by Petrov began its expansion from Metković to other parts of Dalmatia. Today he is one of the closest associates of Božo Petrov.

However, it is questionable whether Kovačić would be ready to accept the post of party president anyway. His main goal is to complete the work that he began in Omiš. That is the reason why in recent weeks he had repeatedly refused all offers to accept a ministerial post in the new government led by Prime Minister Tihomir Orešković.

Some MPs from MOST believe that Petrov should remain the party leader, while the job of developing party network should be left to a new party secretary general. However, others understand why Petrov would want to change the party which was founded as a group of independent mayors from small towns and municipalities. And that is the reason why MOST today is still not a regular party. For example, it has not regulated the issue of party membership, which includes even its MPs, most of whom have not yet officially become its members. Party members are only those who belong to the core group from Metković, while the others are officially considered to be independent non-partisan politicians.

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