On Monday former Croatian Prime Minister and SDP party leader Zoran Milanović announced that he will run as the SDP candidate, having previously secured the backing of his former party.
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday HDZ Party Chairman Andrej Plenković reiterated that he expects President Kolinda Grabar Kitarović to run for a second mandate, adding that she will have the HDZ's full support.
Plenković also commented on yesterday's announcement that former SDP leader Zoran Milanović will run as the SDP candidate. Two years ago Plenković led the HDZ to a decisive win over Milanović and his SDP-led coalition.
"This is a democratic country and anyone can run, but the formal candidacies are still a couple of months away. He and I played the game two years ago. This time he'll be playing against someone else, maybe he loses again." Plenković said
Senior SDP official Arsen Bauk said today that to ensure a win at the elections for president, Milanović will need to win over voters from other center left parties. However, at this early stage, few from the center left were ready to commit to backing Milanović.
"The HSLS will not support Milanović, it would be a political perversion to be in member of the coalition government with the HDZ and to support the SDP's presidential candidate. We are no the HNS or the SDSS, we have political principles," said Social-Liberal Party leader Darinko Kosor.
Tulio Demetlika of the IDS was also unwilling to back Milanović. "We'll see if our center-left group, the Amsterdam coalition, produces a candidate. Right now it's too early to talk about backing any one candidate."
Only Radimir Čačić of the People’s Party Reformists, who is also a member of the HDZ-led coalition government backed Milanović’s bid for the Office of the President. "The unanimous decision of the People's Party Reformists is to support his candidacy."
It is expected that the elections for Croatian President will be held in January of 2020.