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Croatian conservatives nominate pharmaceutical executive as PM-designate

A coalition of Croatian conservative parties has nominated pharmaceutical executive Tihomir Oreskovic as the candidate for premiership. The move ended weeks of uncertainty after last month's inconclusive election.

The Croatian Democratic Union and the Most party named Oreskovic (picture, middle) as prime minister-designate after agreeing to form an alliance. The two parties have 78 members in a 151-seat parliament.

"We agreed upon the premier designate … a non-partisan individual, Tihomir Oreskovic," Bozo Petrov, leader of the pro-reform Most party, told media on Wednesday.

Oreskovic's nomination was formally announced by President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, who called an inaugural parliamentary session on December 28.

"He (Oreskovic) convinced me that he has support of 78 parliamentary deputies," the president said Wednesday.

The prime minister-designate said he would invest his knowledge and energy to "start solving the huge number of problems" faced by Croatia.

The announcement ended weeks of uncertainty after both the right-wing opposition and the ruling left-wing coalitions failed to secure a majority in the

November 8 election.

This gave the newly-formed Most party, which won 19 seats, the role of a kingmaker.

The incumbent

Social Democrats also held talks with Most,

but the latter decided to join hands with the opposition.

The Most party demands reforms to spur Croatia's economy, which has faced a six-year recession period. The

influx of refugees coming from the Middle Eastern nations to Europe

was also a subject of negotiations between the government and the Most party.

Forty-nine-year-old Oreskovic, who worked as a senior manager in Israel-based Teva Pharmaceuticals, is little known in Croatian politics. He now has 30 days to form the government.

shs/gsw (AFP, AP, Reuters)

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