Contrary to Expectations, Minister Kuščević Does Not Resign

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ZAGREB, July 3, 2019 – Administration Minister Lovro Kuščević on Wednesday told reporters after being asked if he would step down that his assets have been transparently listed in his Declaration of Assets and that there have been no violations or murky dealings.

“All my assets are transparently presented in my Declaration of Assets and there have been absolutely no violations or suspicions of misconduct. I am staying on,” Kuščević told reporters outside Government House after meeting with Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković and Croatian Democratic Union (HDU) whip Branko Bačić.

He said that he would see on Thursday what the Social Democratic Party’s motion for his removal would look like and whether there would be any serious criticism. “I think that once again that will be just another series of false accusations like those we have seen in the media recently,” he said.

Asked if he was too heavy a burden on the government seeing that the Croatian People’s Party, a partner in the ruling coalition, was calling for his resignation, Kuščević said that a party supported by 2.5 percent of the electorate “isn’t one to decide on the composition of the Croatian government.”

The parliamentary group of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) announced on Wednesday that in cooperation with other opposition parties it would file a motion for a vote of no confidence in Administration Minister Lovro Kuščević following his role in the numerous real estate scandals that have emerged recently.

“It is obvious that there is hardly any minister in this government who is not suspected of corruption and citizens have had enough. This is not a call for dismissal due to political responsibility but rather due to grave suspicion of corruption, abuse and violation of power. In any normal country, where the government is not corrupt, cases like this would have been forwarded to the state prosecutor long ago,” SDP leader Davor Bernardić told a press conference.

He said that the SDP was continuing the fight against corruption with its own set of anti-corruption bills that will be presented soon.

“It will be interesting to see whether the coalition partners in government will side with the citizens and the interests of Croatia or they will side with Minister Kuscevic and the most corrupt government in Croatia’s history,” he underscored, alluding to the junior coalition partner the Croatian People’s Party (HNS).

MP Saša Đujić (SDP) said that Kuščević was acting along the lines of Prime Minister Andrej Plenković’s statement “I can do want I want.”

“This morning after the meeting in the government offices we expected Kuščević to address the media and say his term was over and he was leaving. However, just the opposite, not only did he not show any dose of self-criticism but he continued to behave arrogantly just as he and the government have behaved so far,” Đujić said.

He said that Kuščević is suspected of unlawful construction, re-zoning, embezzlement and conflict of interest while at the same time leading attacks on the Conflict of Interest Commission and proposing reducing the Commission’s powers.

More news about the administration minister can be found in the Politics section.


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