The leader of the START party and former chair of the parliamentary Conflict of Interest Commission, Dalija Oreskovic, announced on Sunday she would run for president, saying that the institutions that should be combating corruption either have been sunk or are facing euthanasia.
"I made the decision at the height of corruption scandals that erupted in government. None of the candidates so far has offered acceptable solutions and responses to the social injustices created by corruption, which has seeped into all pores of government and society," Oreskovic said in an interview with the commercial Nova TV television channel.
She added that it seemed to her that at the moment all the institutions that should be combating corruption "either have been sunk or are on track to be euthanised, as is the case with the Conflict of Interest Commission."
"That's why I think it is very important for me to speak about the matters I am sure no other candidate will address as I do," Oreskovic said.
Although START failed to win a seat in the European Parliament in May's election, she said this was not a shortfall. "This was the first election at which a new political party was gaining political experience. One defeat cannot be a reason for discouragement, and everyone who is committed to their political persuasions and objectives must find the strength to fight for them."
Given that some members of her party had left, she said that START would undergo political reorganisation in parallel with the presidential campaign.
Commenting on the platform of the presidential candidate Miroslav Skoro, Oreskovic said that the concentration of power in the hands of one person may offer "quick and easy solutions" but means less democracy and less rule of law.
As for the Social Democratic Party's candidate, former prime minister Zoran Milanovic, she said that although there were many positive things about him he was not a good presidential candidate. "First of all, he is a candidate of continuity and of maintaining the status quo in this society. It is precisely because of his previous political career that I think he will not be able to advocate progressive anti-corruption policies," Oreskovic said.