President Grabar Kitarović Dismisses Her Special Advisor Vladimir Šeks

Total Croatia News

Aftermath of controversial Presidential pardons 

Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović has decided to dismiss Vladimir Šeks, her special advisor for constitutional affairs and former Speaker of Croatian Parliament, Večernji List reported on February 3, 2016. The decision came after it was discovered that one of the people which the President recently pardoned was Šeks’s close associate.

Vanja Goldberger was Šeks’s advisor while he was the Speaker of the Croatian Parliament. Goldberger was convicted of abuse of drugs and illegal possession of weapons, and pardons for such crimes are usually not very popular with the public even in the best of circumstances. While Šeks was not a member of the Pardons Commission, he did speak with some of the members during the decision-making process, which has given rise to the suspicion that he may have affected the decision on Goldberger’s pardon. Šeks confirmed that he had advocated a pardon for Goldberger and had asked the President to dismiss him due to “a sense of moral responsibility”.

This marks a sad end to the career of a distinguished politician and legal expert. Šeks is one of the greatest experts in Croatia for constitutional issues. He was part of the Croatian political leadership until 2012 when he supported Jadranka Kosor to remain HDZ president. However, she lost the party elections to Tomislav Karamarko and that marked the beginning of Šeks’s political downfall. In April 2015, after 25 years as a Member of Parliament, Šeks resigned as MP and became President’s advisor. At that time, he was the only person to have been elected to all Parliaments since the multiparty system was introduced in 1990. He is also one of the authors of the current Croatian Constitution.

Commenting on Šeks’s dismissal, First Deputy Prime Minister and HDZ president Tomislav Karamarko said that the President has shown she was a principled politician. “It is good that she has made that decision. The President has shown she is a principled person, and we support her”, said Karamarko talking about Šeks’s dismissal. Saying that he was not a lawyer, he declined to comment on whether the decision on the pardon should be amended, adding that “they should decide it by themselves”.


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