ZAGREB, March 27, 2018 – Istrian Democratic Party (IDS) leader Boris Miletić said on Monday that the ratification of the Istanbul Convention concerned values of civilised societies and that it should not be treated as a political issue. “Some predominantly Catholic countries such as Italy and Spain have ratified that convention without any problems and I think that our believers would not have any problems with the convention either,” Miletić said in an interview with Croatian Radio.
As for the Church’s position on the matter and its impact on relations within the ruling HDZ party, Miletić said: “As regards the role of the Church and statements made by some of its representatives…. I believe it would be much better to listen to what Christian teachings say, which is to be good to one another, to respect one another, and spread love and not violence,” said Miletić, adding that he was glad his party and the GLAS party had raised the topic of the Istanbul Convention to the national level.
Asked why he had not been so vocal in his criticism when the SDP-led government, of which his party was a member, failed to ratify the convention, Miletić agreed than one should be critical of oneself, but noted that his party was in charge of the tourism sector in that government and that he believed it did that job well.
The head of the IDS Women’s Club, Sandra Čakić Kuhar, today described as inappropriate Health Minister Milan Kujundžić’s announcement that the new abortion law would be more restrictive and described as unacceptable any attempt to question the women’s reproductive health and their autonomy in making decisions about their own bodies.
Asked about speculation about an early election, Miletić said that it was up to the prime minister but that nobody, notably the economic sector, was in favour of an early election. “Nobody should be calling for an early election but if the majority is not stable, an early election costs less and is less harmful.”
Asked if the opposition was prepared for elections, Miletić said that “there are evidently certain problems in the SDP and it would be good for the country and the party if the SDP solved those internal problems and started dealing with topics that are important for the country.”
Asked about a possible major coalition between the HDZ and the SDP and what kind of problems would prompt the two parties to form a coalition government, Miletić said that the SDP and the HDZ had entirely opposed worldviews.
GLAS, the Pametno party and the IDS have been working on a political platform for a liberal Croatia, he said, dismissing the possibility of one of those three parties helping the HDZ form a government.
Miletić also commented on Croatia’s foreign policy in the context of relations between President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović and Prime Minister Andrej Plenković. “We don’t have a clear foreign policy. The prime minister is doing one thing, and the president another, and they should first agree a joint foreign position,” the IDS leader said.
Asked if the president had made a mistake by inviting Russian President Vladimir Putin to visit Croatia, Miletić said she should have consulted with the prime minister on the topic first. “That should be a common position of Croatia’s foreign policy, not a position of the prime minister’s or the president’s office,” said Miletić.