Last week’s elections for parliamentary representatives changed the climate in the political system of Croatia. After two mandates of right centre HDZ (Croatian Democratic Union), this time the public expectedly favored the left centre Kukuriku coalition (“Cock-a-doodle-doo”- Socialist Democratic Party, Istrian Democratic Union, Croatian People’s Party and Croatian Party of Pensioner). One of the reasons for such an outcome were numerous corruption scandals of the leading party. However, the biggest surprise of the elections was Croatian Labour Party.
With six (almost seven) parliamentary seats, Labour Party became the most positive surprise of the elections, owing much of its popularity to the party founder, Mr. Dragutin Lesar. Having in mind the fact that the party was actually founded a year and a half ago, the success is even more enviable. As one of the party members admitted, they have been “out”, working with citizens only about six months. Six mandates for six months of public action speak for themselves. Citizens evidently recognized large potential of Labour Party, included in the 5-A manifesto: Alternative, Affirmation, Anticorruption, Activity and Engaging (in Croatian Angažiranost, thus the fifth A). As some of the supporters note, the party has found a way of speaking to “ordinary” people, identified key problems and structured solutions, targeting workers and intellectuals as their main focus of attention. Clearly, this was the straight shot that resonated well within the electorate. Exactly 121 087 citizens cast their votes for the new Labour MPs Nansi Tireli, Dragutin Lesar, Branko Vukšić, Zlatko Tušak, Mladen Novak and Nikola Vuljanić.
Mr. Lesar, the party president, however, is not a new figure at the Croatian political scene. He used to be a deputy prefect in his hometown, the Međimurje county, which eventually showed its support by casting highest number of votes for Labour Party. After leaving Croatian People’s Party, where he started his political career, Lesar first acted as an independent memper of the parliament, and then founded the Croatian Labour party, as a breath of a fresh air at the political scene. He states that he joined the party founders because he believed that the existing political parties have not provided a response to the crisis of liberal capitalism. He also notes the policies of a party must come from the social values of freedom, democracy, truth, justice, fairness, social solidarity and the protection of the dignity of work.
On December 6th new MPs already had their first working meeting related to the preparation of the inaugural meeting of the seventh parliamentary term. After the election night, Labour Party started working on implementing their fundamental goals – the revival of misplaced and forgotten social values in our society. Labour’s aim is to be a corrective to the ruling party, as outlined in the Plan A.
Exactly six months after winning six seats in local council committees, the party looks more prospective than ever. Popular support grows day by day, making space for the Labour to win important positions in local and county elections, to be held in a year and half. Six elected local council members and six Members of Parliament is a great result for the party which has been at the political scene for only a little more than a year, with logistics and organization not quite developed, and virtually no means of financial support. Yet, the results speak for the Labour and confirm its high rating. Dissapointed and empowerished citizens expect Labour Party to represent them and must not be disappointed.. (Petra Mijić)