Plenković Comments on New Cabinet

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Foreign Minister Kovač says that rumours about him not staying as minister are “stupidities”.

Prime Minister-Designate and HDZ president Andrej Plenković said on Thursday that the names of new ministers would be known next week and emphasized that he will be the one who will decide, reports on October 13, 2016.

“We still have enough time; today we have other topics on the agenda. Tomorrow is the first meeting of Parliament, and next week we will finalize the names of ministers in the new cabinet”, said Plenković to reporters asked whether HDZ Presidency and Main Committee would today decide on the ministers.

Asked whether he could confirm the news that HDZ political secretary Davor Ivo Stier would be the new Foreign Minister, Plenković said: “I have already said that I will announce all the names at the same time.”

Plenković also commented on pressure exercised by rightwing circles against a possible candidate for Minister of Culture Nina Obuljen. Several rightwing NGOs organized a press conference on Wednesday where they accused Obuljen of working against Croatian interests. It is presumed that they want the current Culture Minister Zlatko Hasenbegović to remain at his post. Plenković said that no one can pressure him and that he alone would choose new ministers.

HDZ general secretary Gordan Jandroković confirmed that today’s discussions would cover preparations for Friday’s inaugural session of Parliament. He explained that the session would begin with the election of Speaker of Parliament (MOST leader Božo Petrov), followed by appointment of parliamentary committees which are necessary for Parliament to be able to function. Then Parliament will debate laws concerning the government and the organization of ministries, and then the laws which are connected with demands made by MOST prior to elections.

Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Miro Kovač, asked to comment on Wednesday’s statement by HDZ Member of European Parliament Dubravka Šuica that Davor Ivo Stier will replace him as Foreign Minister, said that it was a stupidity.

Other possible candidates for new ministers also did not want to give specific answers to journalists about whether they would remain at their posts. Minister of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure Oleg Butković just said it was not certain that he would remain a minister, adding: “Is it the most important thing to be a minister?”

It is expected that the names of new ministers will be known by the middle of next week.


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