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Former Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor could be expelled from the HDZ after criticising the new leader in an interview.
Kosor risks expulsion from the party she once led after giving an interview with the Croatian weekly Globus, in which she criticized the party's new president, Tomislav Karamarko.
She spoke out after Karamarko claimed that the Croatian Democratic Union, HDZ, had been "de-Croat-ized" during the last decade, while the party presidents were Ivo Sanader and Kosor.
Kosor also critiqued the HDZ president's statement that the party base had been "systematically neglected" while she was at the helm.
After the interview was published last week, several party officials said Kosor should be disciplined for ignoring the president's call for senior members not to speak out publicly about relations inside the HDZ.
The interview was the culmination of misunderstandings with Karamarko, who is seen as more right-wing and less pro-European than Kosor. She had earlier welcomed Karamarko's takeover of the HDZ in 2011.
Karamarko was party member from the beginning of the Nineties, but his party status was frozen for years because of quarrels with the then party president, Franjo Tudjman.
He led the presidential election campaign of Stjepan Mesic in 2000, when Mesic ran as a fierce opponent of Tudjman and the HDZ. Sanader appointed Karamarko as interior minister in 2008.
Kosor became Prime Minister in September 2009, after Sanader resigned, and led the government until December 2011, when the HDZ lost a general election.
During that period, Croatia solved a longstanding border problem with Slovenia, which had help up Croatia's EU negotiations for two years.
Croatia also finished its EU negotiations and signed its EU Accession Treaty in December 2012.
The HDZ court of honour is to decide if Kosor should be expelled in the coming days.
Commenting on the threat, Kosor said on Thursday that she had spoken the truth.
"If somebody has to be thrown out of HDZ for speaking the truth, that will send a very clear message, not only to HDZ members, but further than that," Kosor said.
"As Prime Minister, I contributed to concluding EU negotiations and signed the EU Accession Treaty. If, as such, I'm not good enough for the HDZ leadership, we can discuss that," Kosor added.
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