Majority of Parliamentary Groups Support Istanbul Convention

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, April 12, 2018 – Most political groups in the Croatian parliament said during a debate on Wednesday that they would support the ratification of the Istanbul Convention, emphasising that it was an important step forward in protecting human rights and warning of the politicisation of the issue in public.

Speaking on behalf of the strongest opposition party, the Social Democrats (SDP), Arsen Bauk said that his party would vote in favour of the Convention, expressing hope that it would receive more than two-thirds of votes in parliament.

He noted that no other international document had attracted so much public attention in Croatia. “Crusaders can’t stand freedom. This same group, with the clear assistance of the Church, which is interfering in party affairs while hiding paedophilia within its own ranks, is today leading the battle against the Istanbul Convention, mostly using the arguments of the global movement against the ratification of this convention of the Council of Europe,” Bauk said.

Bauk said that “the aim of the modern crusaders, no matter how much they speak of love, morality and family, is enslavement, and what is happening in Croatia is large-scale aggression.” He said that now is the time for “active democratic resistance”, with the ratification of the Istanbul Convention as one step in that struggle.

Sanja Putica of the ruling Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) said that the purpose of the Convention was to protect women against all forms of violence and domestic violence, adding that the deplorable data on violence against women in Croatia showed how important it was to adopt the Convention.

Putica said that groups opposed to the ratification of the Convention were politicising the issue and causing “moral panic” in the public sphere. She stressed that the Convention did not contain gender ideology.

Milorad Pupovac of the Independent Democratic Serb Party (SDSS), a member of the ruling coalition, said that he supported the Istanbul Convention and the government’s interpretive statement that would accompany the ratification act.

Boris Miletić of the opposition Istrian Democratic Party (IDS) said that his party had always advocated the protection of fundamental human rights and that the level of human rights protection must not depend on political calculations. He said that by ratifying the Istanbul Convention Croatia was becoming a modern European state. “We must resist the retrograde views and the radical right which, by attacking this Convention, aims to prevent Croatia from being among the developed countries of the European Union,” Miletić said.

The HSS, GLAS, HSU and HNS said that they would support the bill ratifying the Istanbul Convention, warning that false news, intolerance and hatred had been used during public consultation on its ratification. HSS leader Krešo Beljak praised Prime Minister Andrej Plenković for opposing conservative organisations that are against the Convention.

The HDSSB and HSLS deputies said they would vote for the ratification, while Branko Hrg of the HDS said he would vote against.

Zlatko Hasanbegovic of the Independents for Croatia said this group would vote against the ratification, saying the main purpose of the Convention was gender ideology.

Miro Bulj of the MOST party accused Plenković of putting the Convention up for ratification without a public consultation and dividing the Croatian people. Plenković told him to stop lying.

Davor Bernardić of the SDP said the time had come in Croatia to “distance ourselves from reactionary forces in society which are trying to push us into the Middle Ages, to separate people on gender, sexual, religious or ethnic grounds.”


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