Still, the number of HDZ’s MPs who voted against the government was surprisingly high.
After the parliament today ratified the Istanbul Convention and rejected the opposition’s motion of no confidence against Economy Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Martina Dalić, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković spoke to journalists, reports Index.hr on April 13, 2018.
“I would like to thank all the MPs, especially members of the parliamentary majority, who have supported Dalić and the Istanbul Convention ratification. You saw that there was one vote missing. Italian national minority MP Furio Radin was not able to come today. Some of our MPs voted against the convention, and that is their right. The purpose of this is to protect women from violence. All institutions will do everything they can to prevent this phenomenon. The interpretative statement is a clear guide. We can be satisfied,” said Plenković.
“I think we need to work on reducing the divisions in the society. The majority of MPs believe that the purpose of the convention is to protect women against violence. Political and worldview elements are wrong. Other countries can show us that there is nothing to worry about in the convention. Some people in Croatia fear the convention because of the campaign which is being carried out. Time will show that we were right. Nobody is going to be punished; they are free to exercise their will.”
The journalists asked Plenković about yesterday’s protest in Split. “It is clear to everybody that the people in Split have not gathered due to the Istanbul Convention. They had another agenda,” Plenković said, alluding to the fact that most speeches during the protest were aimed against him. “When I became HDZ president, the party had the support of just 20 percent, and it had just brought down its own government. I came with clean hands and with a full heart,” commented Plenković. “I have my direction, I have my political line, I stand behind all my moves,” said Plenković.
“Do you believe you will continue to be HDZ president after this term,” the journalists asked Plenković. “Why not?” replied Plenković.
There were 14 HDZ MPs who voted against the ratification, which is a higher number than was initially expected. One HDZ’s MP abstained during the vote, while two did not vote at all. It is unheard of in the modern Croatian political history that so many MPs from the ruling majority party vote against their own government.
Council of Europe Secretary General Thornbjorn Jagland welcomed today’s ratification of the Istanbul Convention in the Croatian parliament and described it as “excellent news”. “I welcome the ratification of the Istanbul Convention of the Council of Europe by an impressive majority. That is great news ahead of my visit to Croatia next week,” said Jagland. “Croatia is about to take over the presidency of the Council of Europe at a crucial time. In Zagreb, I will talk about the current challenges in Europe and the priorities of the Croatian presidency, and I look forward to it,” said Jagland.
Croatia is the 30th of 47 members of the Council of Europe which have ratified the Istanbul Convention, and the 18th EU member state that has done so.