Foreign Ministry Defends Appointment of Ambassador to UK

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ZAGREB, November 24, 2018 – The Foreign Ministry on Friday defended Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, against whom the Conflict of Interest Commission decided to launch proceedings over the appointment of his close friend as Croatia’s ambassador to UK.

The Commission launched the proceedings because, when Igor Pokaz was appointed to the post, Plenković did not inform the public that he had been Pokaz’s best man at his wedding.

Plenković said the Commission’s decision was “without arguments and unnecessary” and the Foreign Ministry came to his defence, saying Pokaz was an expert with a vast career. “Reducing his appointment to a personal acquaintance would mean to negate and devalue his professional achievements,” the ministry said.

Plenković did not nominate Pokaz nor could he exempt himself from the appointment in which the president, the government and parliament’s foreign affairs committee take part, it added.

In the case in question, the prime minister, based on a government decision and the opinion of the parliamentary committee, gave his co-signature for the president’s decision, and the procedure was done entirely in line with the constitution and other regulations, the ministry said, adding that decisions on the appointments of ambassadors and heads of diplomatic missions as well as on their dismissals are made by the president.

Under the constitution, the prime minister cannot exempt himself from decisions on the appointments of ambassadors, and the appointments and dismissals of heads of diplomatic missions cannot be done without a co-decision by the prime minister and the president, the ministry said.

Plenković used the same argument when commenting on the decision of the Conflict of Interest Commission. “Legally it’s not possible to exempt oneself.”

For more on Croatia’s relations with the United Kingdom, click here.


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