Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandrokovic said on Tuesday that it would be good for the situation in society if Independent Democratic Serb Party (SDSS) leader Milorad Pupovac explained or retracted his statement in which he compared Croatia to the Nazi-allied Independent State of Croatia (NDH) that existed during the Second World War.
"The statement by Mr Pupovac was unacceptable, and it seems to me that there is almost a consensus of the entire political structure on this. I was surprised by the gravity of the words used by the MP. I think that because of the general situation in society it would be very beneficial if he either retracted his statement or explained why he made it," Jandrokovic told the press after a meeting of the Parliament Presidency.
He said it was difficult for him to accept after all these years that a member of the Croatian Parliament drew a parallel between the modern Croatian state and the NDH.
Jandrokovic would not reveal what had been discussed at last week's coalition meeting, which was attended by Pupovac, but said he believed the SDSS leader would find a way to remove any doubts as to whether he really believed that modern Croatia could in any way be likened to the NDH.
Asked if the SDSS would stay in the ruling coalition, Jandrokovic was not explicit. "We'll see that, I don't want to speculate. We from the HDZ (Croatian Democratic Union) and government have clearly condemned that statement and I heard other parties did the same. It's unacceptable to us. We'll see what another day brings."
Asked if there was any grassroots pressure from the HDZ over the cooperation with Pupovac, Jandrokovic said that the HDZ wanted to bring its term to a successful conclusion and that the demanding situation in which the government was operating required the responsibility and stability of the political system.
Commenting on the ultimatum from the Association of Disabled War Veterans (HVIDR) over Pupovac's statement, Jandrokovic said that causing divisions, insisting on differences and public accusations were not in anyone's interest right now, but that account should be taken of stability in society and Croatia's interests. He added that he was certain most of HDZ members and voters followed the policy of the prime minister and HDZ leader.