By Marija Avramovic – Zagreb
When on June 20, a former Croatian Deputy Prime Minister Radomir Cacic came out of prison, where he spent 12 months for serving a sentence for a traffic accident in Hungary in which two people were killed, no one believed that he planned to return to the political scene as a leader of a party no less.
While serving his sentence in the Croatian prison Valtura, he was expelled from the Croatian People’s Party (HNS), his former party of which he was co-founder and president, but this didn’t stop him to immediately launching an initiative for the establishment of the People’s Party of Reformists, a new options on the Croatian political sky.
In late June, he held an informal gathering of the Initiative at Zagreb’s Jarun where he was joined by the Mayor of Zagreb Milan Bandic which caused many political analysts and politicians to think about how these two will make a coalition in the future. At that point, the initiative has already had around 2,000 members, mostly disgruntled former members of HNS.
The dispersal of HNS continued with the joining of parliamentarian Peter Baranović (HNS) to Caci’s party in making and the news from a few weeks ago that part of Zagreb’s Labour Party decided to side with the Initiative for the establishment of the National Party – Reformists, echoed like thunder in the Croatian media.
At the press conference held yesterday in Osijek, Cacic said that the reformists “do not intend to take down the government even though it does not match the citizen’s expectations”.
He concluded that ideological polarization, which is essentially just an alibi for incompetence, is becoming dangerous and harmful. He believes that the time has come for the people who offer solutions, not just at the program level, but also at the level of what they’re already doing in life and what is verifiable in their biographies.
He stressed the importance for every political option to be represented in Parliament, especially in the making, but it is not particularly important whether it’s five or ten MPs, but who are these people and what is their contribution to the Croatian Parliament.
Cacic yesterday discovered that his initiative was joined by former Deputy Agriculture Minister Vesna Gantner, now a former member of the Social Democratic Party (SDP).
At the same time, during his visit to the flooded areas, Bandic said that his political ambitions will be revealed in time and make known to the public, and at reporter’s question whether he planes to formalize his political co-operation with Cacic replied: “I will not form a coalition with anyone; others will go into coalition with Bandic”.
If the initiative of some NGOs for changing the election law, which would introduce preferential voting is adopted, Cacic’s reformists party could have a successful and bright future in the Croatian parliamentary life. The recent agitations in the ruling SDP and the saturation of the political sphere by the main opposition party, the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), at this point can only be in favor for the new political option in Croatia.