HDZ’s Željko Reiner Elected as Speaker of Croatian Parliament

Total Croatia News

Croatia’s political transition continues with the appointment of a Speaker of Parliament.

Three weeks after the first unsuccessful attempt, Croatian Parliament managed to elect its new Speaker, which means that the four-year term of the Parliament has officially begun. After HDZ and MOST last week reached an agreement on forming a government, it was clear that their candidate would be elected, particularly after SDP yesterday decided against proposing its own candidate for the speakership, reports Jutarnji List on December 28, 2015.

At the beginning of the meeting, outgoing Speaker Josip Leko confirmed that the meeting was attended by all newly-elected MPs. Leko gave a short speech in which he stressed that the citizens had elected representatives of various political options but that the future of Croatia should be a paramount objective for all of them. Leko also pointed out the importance of respecting and safeguarding democratic values ​​and minority rights.

There was only one candidate who submitted his candidacy for the speakership, and that was Željko Reiner from HDZ. The proposal was presented by HDZ president Tomislav Karamarko, who said that Reiner was a volunteer during the war and was the Croatian physician with the highest number of citations in international scientific publications.

Reiner was elected Speaker with 88 votes in favour, 62 abstentions and one vote against, and then he gave his first speech as Speaker. He thanked all those who voted for him, but also those who did not, because that demonstrated that Croatia is a democratic country. He also thanked Croatian war veterans whose sacrifice has enabled this achievement. “Their deaths were not in vain”, Reiner said paraphrasing US President Abraham Lincoln.

Reiner also thanked his predecessor Josip Leko, and said that he was aware that Leko often had a different opinion than the one he had to advocate in public. “That made his role and his service even more important”, Reiner said and added that he would propose to change the official name of the Parliament to Croatian State Parliament (Hrvatski Državni Sabor).

“We must never forget, especially at this time when we are part of the EU, that the Croatian Parliament is a guardian of the values ​​of democracy and the key institution for the preservation of the identity of the Croatian people”, Reiner said. He stressed the need for ending the economic crisis in Croatia. “We are all aware of the need for structural reforms and I hope that after years of despair we can give dignity to the Croatian people. The children and grandchildren need to learn about the past, but not live in it. I am confident that we can reach consensus on the key objectives of the Croatian society, which cannot be achieved by a single Government and a single Parliament.” Reiner finished his speech announcing his hope for a brighter and better future for Croatia.

Josip Leko then turned over the presiding officer’s chair to Reiner.


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