ZAGREB, Croatia (AP) — The biggest party in Croatia’s ruling center-right coalition said Tuesday it is proposing a motion to replace Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic amid a political deadlock that has raised prospects of an early election.
The leader of the Croatian Democratic Union, Tomislav Karamarko, said the current government has become “dysfunctional” and unable to carry out reform in the European Union’s newest member state.
“The situation is not good,” Karamarko said at a news conference. “This has to stop.”
Oreskovic’s government was formed in January in a coalition between the Croatian Democratic Union and a smaller partner, the Most group. Both groups have a deputy prime minister while Oreskovic is an independent financial expert with no party affiliation.
The government crisis erupted weeks ago after Most joined an opposition motion to replace Karamarko as deputy prime minister. Oreskovic has sought to defuse the deadlock by urging both of his deputies to resign.
He insisted Tuesday that “Mr. Karamarko is a burden for this government.”
“I am certain that his party will make the right decision,” Oreskovic added. “I won the confidence in Parliament and I am not afraid to test that confidence.”
It was not immediately clear when the parliamentary vote on Oreskovic could be held. If he loses support, lawmakers will have 30 days to elect a new government or face a snap vote.
Karamarko said there is still time to form a new, reshuffled government, and an election is “the last option.”
Croatia joined the EU in 2013, after fighting a war for independence from Yugoslavia in the 1990s.