Croatia needs a Hungarian or Polish style right-wing political force: opinion

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The current Croatian conservative government has been too close to the Brussels establishment rather than its own people, many who crave for policies such as those pursued by Fidesz in Hungary and Law and Justice (PiS) in Poland.

The victory of the liberal left’s Zoran Milanovic in the Croatian presidential election over the incumbent Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic of the conservative Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) may have come as a surprise in Poland, but it is evidence that HDZ is continuing to lose trust and support.

This result is because the party lacks credibility.

The left’s candidate offered nothing new and was remembered as a poor prime minister, but he won on a wave of discontent with the HDZ government’s policies led by Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic.

Grabar-Kitarovic paid the price for that unpopularity, but she is also at fault for the lack of direction of the Croatian right.

HDZ has been too ready to comply with the liberal mainstream on issues such as migration and gender, but the party did nothing to combat cronyism and clientelism, which led many citizens to sign a petition demanding a change in the electoral system.

Instead of taking heed of that outcry, the ruling party adjudged many of the 400,000 signatures in favor of a referendum to be invalid.