What to expect in the next few days.
After a long conflict within the government led by Prime Minister Tihomir Orešković culminated in HDZ’s motion of no confidence against the Prime Minister, which would automatically bring down the whole government, in the next four days we should get at least some answers about the political future of Croatia. While HDZ is gathering MPs’ signatures for coalition reshuffle and their new Prime Minister-designate Zdravko Marić, SDP is collecting signatures for the dissolution of Parliament which would automatically bring new elections.
It is expected that leaders of all parties which are members of the Patriotic Coalition will meet later today, and HDZ should inform their partners about further steps and how the new ruling majority should look like.
The Commission for Conflict of Interest Prevention will meet on Wednesday and make a decision in the Karamarko case. They will decide whether First Deputy Prime Minister and HDZ president Tomislav Karamarko was in a conflict of interest due to business cooperation between his wife and a company owned by a MOL lobbyist. While just a few weeks ago this decision was seen as the crucial event which could determine the future of Croatia’s government, given all the events which took place in the meantime it seems that the decision will not have a major impact on further course of events.
Parliament will debate and vote on the HDZ’s motion of no confidence against Prime Minister Tihomir Orešković. It is expected that the Prime Minister will defend his position and fight against accusations listed in the motion. Interestingly, some members of HDZ leadership have recently warned the Prime Minister that he should be careful about what he will say during his speech. After the debate, members of Parliament will vote on the motion. It takes 76 MPs for the Prime Minister to be dismissed, and it is widely expected that the motion will be adopted.
The vote on SDP’s motion of no confidence against First Deputy Prime Minister and HDZ president Tomislav Karamarko was expected to take place on Friday. However, if the government is brought down on Thursday, there will be no separate vote on Karamarko. In that case, HDZ has 30 days to try to gather signatures of 76 MPs in support of their new Prime Minister-designate, the current Finance Minister Zdravko Marić. If they do not succeed, Parliament would be dissolved and new elections would be called by President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović. In the meantime, SDP will try to gather the same number of signatures for the dissolution of Parliament, which would automatically mean that early parliamentary elections would be held in the next 30 to 60 days.