Coalition Supports Government Reshuffle, Opposition Wants Elections

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, July 11, 2019 – The leader of the Independent Democratic Serb Party (SDSS), Milorad Pupovac, on Wednesday said that the announced government reshuffle was a welcome move that will improve functionality and strengthen the government.

“Improved functionality and strengthening the government, in the opinion of our caucus and party, is a welcome move and in that regard we support the stand of the HDZ (Croatian Democratic Union). We are waiting for the prime minister to do what is necessary, that means internal consultations, and for him to decide and assess what needs to be done, after which we too will be informed, I guess,” Pupovac said, whose party is part of the ruling majority.

As far as the timing of the reshuffle is concerned, Pupovac believes that there is no need to wait until the autumn. Considering speculations that the number of ministries will be reduced, Pupovac recalled that there had been experiments with fewer ministries, but that did not improve the government’s functionality. He said the prime minister will decide on the number of ministries.

Asked whether the reshuffle was possible by Friday or whether parliament would convene for an extraordinary session, Pupovac said that “there is not enough time for serious work” to be done by Friday.

Asked whether the government was burdened by scandals involving ministers, Pupovac said “a lot burdens the government, various circumstances in society.” “What we as partners consider to be important is political strengthening, strengthening the government and the political scene in the country because it seems to us that this is a crisis point that needs to be considered and dealt with,” he added.

Reporters asked if that meant that ministers Goran Marić and Gabrijela Žalac and others should be replaced. Pupovac said that the prime minister should be asked that. “When the time comes for talks on that, we will say our opinion, he added. Pupovac dismissed speculation that the SDSS would take over the Public Administration Ministry.

The Opposition in parliament on Wednesday called for a snap election instead of a government reshuffle as announced by Prime Minister Andrej Plenković. MP Gordan Maras (Social Democrats) said that Plenković’s government is the most corrupt since Croatia gained independence.

Nikola Grmoja (MOST) considers that Plenković’s hands are tied. This government will probably hold out for the full term, unless the HNS (People’s Party) and minority MPs estimate that it would be better for them to leave, yet Croatian citizens will have nothing to gain from that.

“We called for a new election long ago, for allowing the people to decide and for not agreeing to political bartering in the parliament,” he said.

He believes it is scandalous that someone who is not fit to be in government can sit in the parliament, as former minister Lovro Kuščević will.

Silvano Hrelja of the Pensioners’ Party (HSU) said that he would like the prime minister to have the courage, in the interest of Croatian citizens, to conduct an ambitious government reshuffle and find people who are willing to work in the public interest.

“It would be good for Croatia’s mental health if we stopped dealing with scandals and for someone to take the wheel and steer those ministries in the right direction,” he said.

As far as Kuščević’s returning to parliament is concerned, Hrelja recalled that parliament had on several occasions debated whether mayors and municipal leaders should be allowed to run for parliament and whether they should automatically return to parliament. “That all needs to be defined with election legislation,” said Hrelja.

More political news can be found in the dedicated section.


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