President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic of Croatia addresses attendees during the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly at the U.N. headquarters in New York, September 30, 2015. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri(reuters_tickers)
By Igor Ilic
ZAGREB (Reuters) - Croatia's president urged the speaker of parliament on Friday to dissolve the chamber so the country can hold the snap election she said most lawmakers want.
Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic was speaking after consultating parliamentary parties on whether a new cabinet could be formed after lawmakers ousted technocrat Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic in a vote on Thursday.
"They (parliamentarians) also said their wish is to have an election in early September which I will take into account," Grabar-Kitarovic said.
Parliament must first vote to dissolve itself and then an election must be held no earlier than 30 days and no later than 60 later. Lawmakers are expected to decide the matter on Monday. The president will call the election after parliament is dissolved.
Although the leader of the conservative HDZ party, Tomislav Karamarko, said after consultations that he still hoped a new HDZ-led cabinet could be formed, the opposition, led by the Social Democrats, managed to gather more than 80 signatures of members of the 151-seat parliament supporting its dissolution.
Croatia has one of the weakest European Union economies and is struggling to boost growth and tame high public debt. A snap election threatens to slow down reforms needed to fix fragile public finances and improve the investment climate.
Some analysts fear that Croatia could get a new hung parliament and once again find it difficult to form a stable coalition government.
"The best thing for Croatia would be to have the biggest parties cooperate in pursuing reforms for reviving the economy and reducing debt," said economic analyst Damir Novotny.
"Fighting between the biggest players pushes the country away from necessary structural reforms and rather leads to an economic scenario similar to what we witnessed in Greece."
(Editing by Robin Pomeroy)