The opposition Social Democratic Party's (SDP) Main Committee formulated slates for an upcoming parliamentary election on Thursday, with SDP president Zoran Milanovic saying the party was not perfect but that it had ousted everyone under preliminary investigation and that he expected the ruling Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) to do the same.
"When a preliminary investigation is launched into someone, we oust them from the party. It's rough, but we respect institutions," he told reporters, recalling the SDP's ousting of Marina Lovric Merzel, who has not been indicted on suspicion of corruption yet.
Without naming the official, Milanovic said that "an HDZ crown jewel" still ran the coastal city of Zadar, "a man indicted by the state prosecution for plunder worth HRK 40 million." He added that the supervisory board of the ACI marina operator recently unlawfully contributed HRK 2 million to the HDZ-run Dubrovacko Primorje municipality.
A reporter remarked that former agriculture minister Tihomir Jakovina was high on an SDP slate despite an affair concerning high bonuses in the Hrvatske Sume forest management company. Milanovic said he was ready to "look in the mirror" and that the difference between the SDP and the HDZ was big. He said the fact that Jakovina, in his capacity as minister, did not honour a government decision was an omission.
He went on to say that he did not have "a bad opinion" about the HDZ's new leader, Andrej Plenkovic, and that he was glad that over the past eight weeks the HDZ had "stopped pushing some topics. They still have to deal with a lot of baggage and passions which they stirred up, but this is better than before."
Milanovic said the SDP-led coalition had a "strong platform" which it would present on Monday.
A reporter remarked that the SDP did not honour the women's election quota again, to which he replied, "Of the 93 SDP members on the slates, 39 are women, 42 percent."