Nicosia: The main party in Croatia`s fragile ruling coalition announced Tuesday it would file a no-confidence vote against Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic, in a move likely to lead to snap elections.
After weeks of political turmoil, the conservative HDZ party announced it would seeking the motion against Oreskovic, a non-partisan premier who came to power in January.
"The government is dysfunctional," HDZ chief Tomislav Karamarko, who is also the powerful deputy prime minister, told reporters.
"Disputes and bad relations should stop."
A general election in November failed to produce an outright winner, and the subsequent rightwing coalition was cobbled together after weeks of horsetrading.
It has since barely functioned, having been marred by constant internal wrangling.
Zoran Milanovic, head of Social Democrats, called for the elections to be held next month.
"The only responsible initiative should be to dissolve the parliament ... and hold elections in July," told journalists.
Oreskovoic, a former pharmaceutical executive, on Friday called for the resignation of his two quarrelling deputies, Karamarko and Bozo Petrov, who leads the coalition`s junior party, Most.
Karamarko faces his own no-confidence vote by June 18 over an alleged conflict of interest, and Petrov has called for his resignation.
The HDZ, which has 49 MPs in the 151-seat assembly, needs the backing of only 30 deputies to formally launch the procedure for a no-confidence vote against the premier.
Once the procedure is launched the vote has to take place within 30 days.
If the government falls and a new one is not formed within 30 days, the parliament is dissolved and the president calls new elections.
Karamarko said the HDZ would try to form a new parliamentary majority as soon as possible and described early elections as "the last option."
Analysts, though, say the party is unlikely to be able to stitch together a new coalition.
Snap elections would delay implementation of badly-needed reforms in the European Union`s newest member, whose economy remains one of the worst performers in the 28-nation bloc.
Last week Croatia suspended the issuing of its eurobonds, with the finance ministry citing "domestic political uncertainties" as the reason.
Karamarko faces a no-confidence vote after local media revealed that a lobbyist for Hungary`s oil group MOL, in dispute with Croatia over its national oil group INA, paid his wife for consulting services.
Karamarko acknowledged the existence of the deal but has denied any wrongdoing.
The Croatian government and MOL are majority shareholders in INA, and are in arbitration, notably over how the company is managed.