The head of Medjimurje County and leader of the county branch of the Croatian People's Party (HNS), Matija Posavec, announced at a special press conference in Cakovec on Tuesday that he had resigned from the party after being a member for 15 years.
He said that the reasons for his departure were substantial differences in views between him and the party, which is a junior partner in the ruling coalition.
"Realising where things are going, I have decided to leave after months of attempts and warnings that things should go in a different direction, that we should introduce new values into Croatian politics, but there was not enough will for that. I gave it a lot of chances, but this is not the political path I think both Medjimurje and Croatia should follow," Posavec said.
He said that two years ago, when the HNS entered into the coalition with the HDZ, he had decided to stay although he was opposed to that decision and wanted to change things from within.
"I was trying for these two years. Things came to a head at the European Parliament election after which I made it clear in public that we have to build a new party on a new political paradigm, that we need to change both our leadership and our direction if we want a better future. Unfortunately, my pleas fell on deaf ears," Posavec said.
He said that he wanted to bring new values into Croatian politics and wanted to fight for a better future. He was not specific about his political future after his term as county head expires, but stressed that he was not going to join any other party.
Posavec said he would focus on his work in Medjimurje County and on building a platform for a strong regional policy in northern Croatia.
Asked who would take over the leadership of the party's county organisation, he said that this would be decided by the party and that his duties could be assumed by his deputies.