The leadership of the Croatian Social and Liberal Party (HSLS), a junior partner in the ruling coalition, voted down a proposal put forth by party leader Darinko Kosor to leave the coalition on the national level.
After the party leadership's meeting in the coastal town of Novi Vinodoski, Kosor said that the party’s main committee had turned down his proposal. The majority on the committee argued that leaving over a flap with an ethnic minority party would not be good for a party that espouses liberal and civic values.
Earlier this week Kosor had threatened to leave the coalition if Independent Democratic Serb Party (SDSS) leader Milorad Pupovac did not retract his recent controversial remarks. Kosor said that although the committee voted no, members still fully backed his position on Pupovac.
“With respect to Milorad Pupovac's press conference, with respect to all of our objections to the actions of our coalition partners, I have the full backing of my party's leadership. We remain convinced that at both of his press conferences Milorad Pupovac did not retreat from his claims that this country resembled the Independent State of Croatia, that there was a pro-fascist trend, and that this country was a disruptive force. Our coalition partners, the SDSS, have refused to back down from this position," Kosor said.
Pupovac made a series of remarks comparing Croatia to the WWII puppet state, the Independent State of Croatia, and saying Serbs should be concerned about a rising tide of Croatian ultra-nationalism. Kosor argued that Pupovac’s rhetoric fed right into the ideology of the far-right and encouraged more incidents targeting minorities.
Kosor posted on Facebook: "Yes, to the protection of Serb Croatian citizens from violence in Croatia. No, to the SDSS lecturing democratic Croatia."
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