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Croatia: Agreement close on new coalition government

October 07, 2016 - 6:11 AM

ZAGREB, Croatia - Croatia's ruling conservatives and a small populist party have reached a tentative agreement to form a coalition government following a snap election last month, their leaders said Friday.

Croatian Democratic Union President Andrej Plenkovic and the Most party leader, Bozo Petrov, said Most will run four ministries in new government and the two parties will rotate the post of parliament speaker. Plenkovic is likely to be Croatia's new prime minister.

"We conducted fundamental, engaging and friendly talks over the past days and yesterday we reached an agreement on all major issues," Plenkovic said, adding that he hopes the new government will be stable and serve out its four-year term.

Petrov said "the compromise" satisfies both parties and is likely to lead to the formation of a "reformist" government.

The two right-wing parties formed a government following an inconclusive election last November, but it collapsed after only a few months, leading to political turmoil in the EU's newest member state and stalled economic and social reforms. Croatia is one of the bloc's weakest economies despite some signs of recovery.

Early elections held on Sept. 11 produced no clear winner with the conservatives securing 61 seats in the 151-member parliament. Most, or Bridge in Croatian, was third with 13 seats.

Croatia's President Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic still has to formally give mandate to Plenkovic to form the coalition government. She has called an inaugural session of the new parliament for Oct. 14.

News from © The Associated Press, 2016
The Associated Press

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