ZAGREB, June 28, 2019 – Minister of the Interior Davor Božinović on Friday dismissed speculation that he would succeed Marija Pejčinović Burić in the post of Foreign and European Affairs Minister, noting that he had not been given any such offer.
“I have not received any such offer nor would I opt for (the post),” Božinović told reporters.
Asked if a government reshuffle was possible and necessary, he said that he was not aware of any talks on the matter.
“In the coming period, the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) will be working to prepare in the best possible way for the next election cycle,” Božinović said.
Also today, the head of the HDZ parliamentary group, Branko Bačić, said that there had been no talks within the party on the candidates to succeed Pejčinović Burić after she was elected the Secretary-General of the Council of Europe.
“She will take office on September 15 and we have two and a half months to decide on who will take her place. The Foreign and European Affairs Ministry has been preparing seriously for taking over the presidency of the EU on January 1. Not everything is up to the minister, her closest associates are very much involved in the process so there will be no vacuum,” said Bačić.
He also said that his party colleague Tomislav Sokol, who was elected a member of the European Parliament, would resign as a member of the Croatian parliament today and that his successor in the parliament would take over on July 12.
Bačić said that the opposition Social Democratic Party (SDP) would not succeed in having Public Administration Minister Lovro Kuščević dismissed.
“I still have not seen the SDP’s motion for Minister Kuščević’s dismissal, I’m interested in the reasons they have cited. In any case, they won’t succeed in having the minister dismissed,” Bačić said.
The HDZ official went on to say that deadlines for the dismissal procedure were clear as were deadlines for calling regular and extraordinary parliament sessions.
“Only after we receive the SDP motion will we be able to say when the matter will be discussed… it must be discussed at the latest within 30 days from the submission of the motion and the government’s making known its position on the matter,” said Bačić.
Asked what would happen if the SDP chose such a timing of filing its motion to make the parliament call an extraordinary session after July 15, Bačić said: “If deadlines are such that we cannot conduct a debate before July 15, we will hold talks to see what to do.”
The SDP said on Thursday that it was launching an initiative for Kuščević’s dismissal and was collecting signatures in that regard, adding that due to procedural and legal time frames, an extraordinary session of parliament might be convened solely to debate the proposal for Kuščević’s dismissal.
Speaking of the reasons why the SDP was calling for Kuščević’s resignation, SDP MP Peđa Grbin cited his failure to enter his property in the land register, siphoning property from a company and causing it more than a million kuna in damages, purchasing agricultural land and then converting it into construction land during his term in office as the head of Nerežišća municipality on the island of Brač, and construction of government-subsidised flats many of which ended up in the hands of Kuščević’s family and close party colleagues.
More news about the Ministry of Foreign Affairs can be found in the Politics section.