ZAGREB, July 23, 2020 – The Croatian parliament opened its session on Thursday with demands by opposition groups for an hour-long break to allow them to study the programme of the new government before discussing it and voting on it.
After nearly all opposition groups voiced their satisfaction because they had been presented with the programme of the new government less than an hour before the discussion, Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandrokovic approved a 15-minute break.
He said that the programme could not have been distributed before Wednesday evening because Parliament adopted a law on the new government only then.
“The programme was distributed this morning, but it will be presented by the prime minister-designate and you will be able to hear what has to say,” Jandrokovic said in response to objections from opposition MPs.
Not good practice
Milan Vrkljan of the Homeland Movement said that it was not good practice for the opposition to be presented with the programme half an hour before the discussion. He warned that the opposition might agree during the break not to take part in further discussion.
The late distribution of the government programme was criticised by the Social Democratic Party, the green-left coalition, Bridge, the SSIP, Pametnto and GLAS group and the Croatian Sovereignists.
Programme presented during election campaign
Branko Bacic of the ruling Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) said that the government’s programme was the programme with which the HDZ had won the election and that it had been expanded to include projects proposed by its coalition partners.
Bacic said that the opposition had had enough time to study the programme because it was presented on a daily basis during the election campaign. “I see this as a performance and not as a serious complaint,” Bacic said.