Motion for Vote of No Confidence in Kuščević Added to Agenda

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, July 4, 2019 – The Croatian parliament on Thursday added to its agenda an opposition motion for a vote of no confidence in Public Administration Minister Lovro Kuščević.

The motion was signed by 43 deputies, Speaker Gordan Jandroković said.

The opposition has called for a vote of no confidence in Kuščević “because during his term as the mayor of Nerežišća municipality, and later as minister he has shown that he does not care about public interest and because he has put his private, property-related interests before public interest, abusing his powers to make personal gain worth millions of kuna.”

The motion, put forward by the Social Democratic Party (SDP) was supported also by deputies of the Croatian Peasant Party (HSS), the GLAS party, the group of independent members of parliament, SNAGA party MP Goran Aleksić, and MP Ivan Lovrinović of the Let’s Change Croatia party.

The government has the duty to state its position on the motion within eight days from its being tabled. A no-confidence motion is voted on seven days from the day of its submission at the earliest and 30 days from its submission at the latest.

After a meeting of the ruling coalition partners – Branko Bačić of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), Milorad Batinić of the Croatian People’s Party (HNS) and Milorad Pupovac of the Independent Democratic Serb Party (SDSS) – Pupovac expressed hope that a parliamentary debate on a vote of no confidence in Public Administration Minister Lovro Kuščević, moved by the opposition, would not have to be held.

Speaking to reporters before the meeting, Pupovac said that “someone should leave the government but I hope that won’t be the coalition partners.”

Pupovac, who is known for choosing his words carefully, thus gave reporters reason to conclude that Kuščević will eventually leave the government before the parliamentary debate and will either resign or be replaced by the prime minister.

“We have just had a meeting of the coalition partners and discussed ways to deal with everything that is behind us and that we are faced with. If people talk, it means that there is some kind of common ground for talks… We had an open and good discussion on how to proceed with regard to all outstanding issues,” Pupovac said when asked if the ruling coalition was stable.

Asked who would give in, the HDZ or its coalition partners, Pupovac said, “This is not about giving in but about an agreement on how to function and find a solution.”

The HDZ did not speak about Kuščević’s political fate, the prime minister is in charge of that and we are agreed that that role belongs to him, he added. “As for the debate on a no-confidence vote in Kuščević, we hope it will not have to be held,” he said, adding that “someone should leave the government and I hope that won’t be the coalition partners.”

Pupovac said that he was not insulted by Kuščević ‘s statement that a party with 2.5% voter support was not one to decide on the composition of the government, but that that was an insult to common sense.

Asked if his HNS party could leave the government, Batinić said that everything would be communicated to the prime minister, adding “See you next week after the meeting with the prime minister.”

Social Democrat Peđa Grbin, whose party on Wednesday filed a motion for a vote of no confidence in Kuščević, said earlier today that the HDZ had assumed responsibility for Kuščević’s behaviour.

“The HDZ yesterday supported a common thief thus sending the message that in Croatia it is permitted to steal while holding a public office,” said Grbin. “We expect all members of parliament to say ‘No’ to Lovro Kuščević and to thievery. If the HNS will join in – good, but if not, it will only demonstrate consistency with everything it has been doing in the last two years since it joined this government of crooks,” Grbin said.

He noted that many HDZ deputies admitted in private conversations that Kuščević’s conduct was unacceptable. “Now they will have a chance to show if they practice what they preach,” he added.

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


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