HDZ Still Divided over Istanbul Convention

Total Croatia News

If HDZ political secretary Stier votes against the ratification in parliament, he will probably be dismissed.

If you vote against the ratification of the Istanbul Convention, I do not see a way for you to remain the HDZ political secretary, said Prime Minister and HDZ president Andrej Plenković to Davor Ivo Stier yesterday, during a session of the party presidency. According to unofficial sources, Stier will not resign and will vote against the ratification of the convention in parliament, reports Večernji List on April 7, 2018.

During the meeting, Plenković continued to claim that a vote against the convention was in fact a vote against the government. However, this time he did not threaten that he would bring down the government, provoke early parliamentary elections and remove his party opponents from candidate lists for the next parliament.

On the other hand, Stier insisted that these two things could not be linked because the opposition will support the ratification, which means that HDZ’s MPs could vote according to their conscience, since the convention will be ratified anyway.

“Perhaps on the same day, we will vote on the convention and on the support for Deputy Prime Minister Dalić, whom the opposition want to dismiss. As for the convention, I will be opposed because my conscience demands it. As for the opposition’s request for the dismissal of Dalić, I will support the government,” said Stier explaining his position. Still, Plenković concluded the meeting by saying that the party’s position on the Istanbul Convention was clear since all county branches had supported its ratification.

According to some members of the party presidency, if the party MPs were allowed to vote on the convention according to their conscience, it is believed that about 15 members would vote against the government. “This figure should be taken with reservations, since it might just be a spin and an inflated number, so that afterwards people could say that the actual number was lower than expected,” warned one presidency member.

Miro Kovač, the party’s international secretary and former foreign minister, is against the ratification, just like deputy party president Milijan Brkić, party’s Member of European Parliament Ivana Maletić and former Tourism Minister Anton Kliman, who were not present at yesterday’s meeting.

Stier caused a bit of stir before the meeting, when he responded to accusations that his positions were defined by church influences. He went into a monologue in which he appeared to criticise Plenković and some of the Church leaders.

“The greatest anti-clericalists are believers who go to mass every Sunday and who try to follow Christ’s doctrine, while the greatest clericalists are politicians who occasionally appear in the church (at the time of the election) to receive an applause or to be mentioned in a sermon,” said Stier . He noted that some politicians may even know some dirt about people in the Church hierarchy, and they use it to blackmail and control the Church. “We need a new kind of politics. Not the old one, which wants to receive support from the altar, but then, when they come to power, they forget about Christian values,” Stier said.

Plenković later commented that he had no idea who Stier was talking about.

Translated from Večernji List (reported by Iva Puljić-Šego).


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