Croatia’s outgoing prime minister’s conservative HDZ party has reached an agreement with a far-right party to form a coalition government after April’s parliamentary elections, a spokesman said today.

The Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) of Andrei Plenkovic (pictured), who has ruled Croatia since 2016, and the Homeland Movement (DP), a party close to the nationalist right, reached an agreement “on the structure of the new government”, Marko Milic said.

It took three weeks of negotiations to complete this agreement. HDZ elected 61 MPs and DP 14 in the 151-member Croatian Parliament. The DP had said it would not support a government that included the Serbian minority party SDSS, HDZ’s former ally, or the left-wing ecological movement Mozemo. The HDZ accepted these terms, only to face severe criticism from opposition parties.

The new government needs 76 votes to receive parliamentary approval. Plenkovic hopes that he will continue to be supported by the parties representing the minorities that were allies of the HDZ in previous years.

DP leader Ivan Penava confirmed the deal and said his party would take over the agriculture ministry, a new population ministry and some finance ministry responsibilities. In its election campaign, the anti-immigrant DP portrayed itself as the defender of traditional, family values ​​and called for the Serb party not to be allowed to participate in a future government.