HDZ and SDP to Let SOA Director Serve Until the End of His Term?

Total Croatia News

The never-ending story about the dismissal of Dragan Lozančić gets a new twist.

It has been over two months since President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović initiated the procedure for dismissal of Dragan Lozančić as director of the Security Intelligence Agency (SOA), and more than two weeks since the proposal for Daniel Markić to be named has been agreed by the President and the Prime Minister, but the change at the helm of Croatia’s main security agency is not yet in sight. According to some, the problem is that an adequate new position has still not been found for Lozančić, but others say that HDZ and SDP have reached a tacit agreement to boycott the appointment of Daniel Markić, reports Jutarnji List on April 10, 2016.

It is well known that HDZ president and First Deputy Prime Minister Tomislav Karamarko vehemently opposed the appointment of Markić and that this issue was a cause of serious disagreement between him and Prime Minister Tihomir Orešković. Nevertheless, the Prime Minister and President on 25 March signed the document asking the Parliamentary Committee on Internal Affairs and National Security to give its opinion about Markić’s appointment as the head of SOA. However, Chairman of the Committee Ranko Ostojić (SDP) has not yet convened a session to debate Markić’s appointment. Instead, he requested an explanation about the legal basis why Lozančić is being dismissed before the end of his term, which lasts until October.

Ostojić is interested to know if there are any proceedings, disciplinary or criminal, which have determined that the SOA director has done some illegal, or whether he has asked to be dismissed himself. He has still not received an answer.

According to unofficial information, the President and the Prime Minister talked with Lozančić and agreed that he would ask to be dismissed himself, but after an adequate position for him is found. For family reasons, he has declined to go to a diplomatic post, so it is possible that he will be appointed to a management position in a public company. Reportedly, it is up to the Prime Minister to find a new job for Lozančić.

“Lozančić has been doing his job superbly and has turned the SOA into agency which is valued by its international partners. His term has not yet ended, and the position of SDP is that he should stay until the end of his term. Of course, we do not question the right of the President and the Prime Minister to appoint the SOA director”, said Igor Dragovan, SDP secretary general and a member of the Committee on National Security. Dragovan rejects the idea of ​​a tacit agreement between SDP and HDZ, but notes that SOA directors have traditionally been allowed to finish their term of office. He pointed out that previous director and current Defence Minister Josip Buljević was left in his post until the end of his term, after which then SDP government appointed him as Consul General in Los Angeles.


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