The president of the Croatian Helsinki Committee for Human Rights (HHO), Ivan Zvonimir Cicak, described on Thursday as “ominous” the statement by Prime Minister and Social Democratic Party leader Zoran Milanovic, “It’s either us or them”, noting that such statements markedly characterised the political climate in Croatia and the ongoing election campaign.
Milanovic’s statement “It’s either us or them”, made in the night when Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic won the presidential election, “contains a threat and we could freely compare it with Tito’s ‘democratic theorem’: There is no democracy for the enemies of socialism,” said Cicak.
The atmosphere of rigid side-taking is not the only thing burdening the current election campaign, Cicak said, adding that another problem were attempts to keep power or come to power at any cost and that such attempts were evidenced by interpretations of the constitutional provision on government formation under which the President of the Republic gives the mandate to form a new government to the person who, based on the number of parliamentary seats won and consultations with other political parties, proves to enjoy the support of a majority of members of Parliament.
“The overt or covert proponents of the incumbent government are trying to convince themselves as well as individuals who support them, that the President of the Republic must give the mandate to the political group that brings her the most ‘signatures’ of newly-elected MPs,” said Cicak.
Election victory is not proven with petitions but with declared election results, and the winner is the group or the party that wins the most seats in the Sabor, said the HHO president.
After the State election Commission declares official election results, President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic is obliged to hold consultations with the leaders of the parties that have won seats in the parliament and to give the mandate to form a new government to the person who convinces her that they enjoy the support of the majority to form the government, the HHO says.
The HHO also expects election losers to make an important contribution to the development of the Croatian democratic tradition by publicly congratulating the winners and resign from their posts in their respective parties, Cicak said.