Former President Mesić to Leave His Abolished Office

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Mesić is forced to leave his office after the Constitutional Court rejected his appeal.

The handover of the building in Grškovićeva Street in Zagreb, where the office of former Croatian President Stjepan Mesić is located, was the topic of a meeting held on Tuesday between Mesić and general secretary of the Ministry of State Property Danijel Škugor. They agreed about the technical details of the handover of the building which will take place in the next few days, reports Večernji List on December 28, 2016.

As regards to the future of the building, the Ministry of State Property said it was necessary “to look at its capacities for possible new users and their needs so that its purpose could be determined”. The Ministry of State Property added that changes to the Law on Special Rights of former Croatian Presidents, which entered into force on 30 May 2016, repealed Article 6 of the original law adopted in 2013. “According to the current law, former presidents can have an office for five years after the end of their term. Since Stjepan Mesić’s term ended in 2010, there is no legal basis for Mr. Mesić to continue using the property owned by the state”, said the Ministry.

The Constitutional Court issued a ruling on 6 December announcing that it had not accepted Mesić’s proposal to institute proceedings to review the constitutionality of the amendments to the Law. With the entry into force of the law in May, the former President lost the right to have an office as a special right connected with the continuation of services paid from the Croatian state budget. The Court announced that the institution of former President was not a constitutional category and that Parliament had a right to decide whether and how to regulate the rights of former presidents.

After the Constitutional Court announced its decision a week ago, Mesić said that for him it was no surprise that the Constitutional Court ignored his complaint about retroactive application of the law, and added that Croatia was far from being a country of law.

Former President Ivo Josipović, whose one and only presidential term ended in 2015, has a right to have the state-paid office until 2020, but he has decided not to use it.


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