Opposition Lacking Votes to Bring Down Government

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Even SDP does not believe it will manage to provoke the fall of the government but says the goal is to force Plenković to come to the Parliament to provide answers on Agrokor.

SDP’s initiative for a vote of no confidence against Prime Minister Andrej Plenković has been signed by representatives of all opposition caucuses in the Parliament, with the exception of three right-leaning MPs led by former Culture Minister Zlatko Hasanbegović. However, according to the latest statements by opposition leaders, few believe that the initiative can lead to anything other than another confirmation of Plenković’s majority, reports Večernji List on October 30, 2017.

Nikola Grmoja (MOST) said that SDP’s initiative could even make Plenković stronger. Still, some of MOST’s MPs have signed the initiative, and the party has announced it will support it during the vote. “SDP was too fast to pull the trigger, but the fact is that the Prime Minister does not want to answer key questions about Agrokor and that HDZ is obstructing the Parliamentary Committee of Inquiry on Agrokor which could provide some of the answers,” explained Grmoja.

Even SDP doubts that the Prime Minister will be dismissed, which would bring down the entire government and provoke early parliamentary elections. Therefore they emphasise that, unlike the earlier proposal to dismiss Finance Minister Zdravko Marić’s, this time their goal is not to cause a split in the ruling majority, but to force the Prime Minister to come to the Parliament and provide answers.

“We have no other choice because the Prime Minister is persistently ignoring the Parliament. We have filed an interpellation regarding the announced purchase of MOL’s stake in INA in January, but there has been no debate scheduled. The government has announced the tender for INA nationalisation adviser and claims that the process is proceeding, but now Rosneft boss says something else, and the Prime Minister is simply ignoring requests to explain the situation in the Parliament,” said an SDP representative.

Since MOST left the government and HNS replaced it as a junior coalition partner, the parliamentary majority has had just 78 votes, two more than the absolute minimum. HDSSB and its one MP have recently said they might not support the government anymore. Having formally assumed the leadership of the party, Branimir Glavaš announced a new direction of HDSSB and immediately terminated a coalition with Mayor Ivan Vrkić in Osijek. However, it is not expected that he will do the same at the national level. SDP also thinks that Glavaš will continue to support the government, just like SDSS leader Milorad Pupovac, although he often criticises the government.

Even if he loses some of the support in the Parliament, Plenković is not the one who now has to prove he has the majority. SDP needs to find 76 votes against the government, which seems impossible without SDSS. Even Marin Škibola, an independent MP from the Let’s Change Croatia parliamentary caucus, might not vote against Plenković. He said he had not yet made a decision because he had not read SDP’s arguments for the initiative, but has called it a farce because SDP is equally responsible for the situation in Agrokor as HDZ.

Also, SDP is not able to count on the vote of MP Nada Turina Đuric from Glas. Although she would certainly vote against the government, she is gravely ill and will not attend the Parliament any time soon.

With all these problems, it is almost impossible to see how the opposition might reach more than 73 votes for the dismissal of the government, which is three less than needed.

Translated from Večernji List.


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