Government Rejects Coalition Partner’s Ultimatum

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, June 30, 2019 – Following the announcement by the Croatian People’s Party (HNS), a junior partner in the ruling coalition, that it would formally demand the resignation of Public Administration Minister Lovro Kuščević, the government said on Saturday that the matter would be discussed at a regular coalition meeting.

“We will discuss this at a regular coalition meeting this week or the next. Ultimatums are out of the question. In the end, a decision on each cabinet minister is made by the prime minister,” the government press service briefly told Hina.

Minister Kuščević has come under severe criticism in the media after it emerged that he was involved in a string of property-related scandals during his term as mayor of Nerežišća on the southern island of Brač.

Kuščević on Saturday declined to comment on increasing calls for his resignation. “The (present) mayor of Nerežišća has said everything there is to say about the amendments to the local development plan,” he told Hina in Supetar on Brač island.

The mayor of Nerežišća, Svemir Obilinović, said on Friday that the changes to the local development plan and land use had been done for the sake of the municipality’s development and tourism as a strategic branch of the local economy. He denied media reports saying that Kuščević, while serving as mayor, had allowed land-use changes to favour his family and help them make huge profits.

Milorad Pupovac, the leader of the Independent Democratic Serb Party (SDSS), also a partner in the ruling coalition, was reserved in his comment, saying that his party would discuss the matter early next week and take an official stance.

“I cannot say at this point what our stance will be. The very fact that this matter will be discussed should be enough,” Pupovac told Hina on Saturday.

Coalition partners from the Work and Solidarity party of Zagreb mayor Milan Bandić did not return calls and text messages from Hina.

Croatian Social Liberal Party (HSLS) leader Darinko Kosor said on Saturday that both Public Administration Minister Lovro Kuščević of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) and the Croatian People’s Party (HNS) should leave the government.

“In our opinion, both Kuščević and the HNS should leave the government. But that should be decided by the prime minister,” Kosor told Hina when asked to comment on the HNS’s demand for Kuščević‘s resignation.

The HNS supports the Social Democratic Party’s presidential candidate Zoran Milanović and is calling, through its Međimurje County prefect Matija Posavec, for departure from the ruling coalition, “so I don’t see how they could be partners any more,” said Kosor, whose party is a coalition partner in government.

Kosor said that Minister Kuščević should go “for reasons well known to the public.”

More news about the Kuščević case can be found in the Politics section.


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