Pupovac: President Has Come into Conflict with Constitutional Court

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, July 19, 2019 – The leader of the Independent Democratic Serb Party (SDSS), Milorad Pupovac, said on Friday that by supporting Mayor Ivan Penava with regard to the Constitutional Court decision on bilingualism in Vukovar, President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović had come into conflict with the Constitutional Court.

“Coming into conflict with the Constitutional Court, without any adequate explanation or invoking the legality or the provisions of the Constitution, is a serious problem for the functioning of key institutions in Croatia, that means the Office of the President and the supreme judicial institution in Croatia,” Pupovac told reporters in parliament.

Reporters asked him to comment on Grabar-Kitarović’s statement on Thursday that she supported Mayor Penava and the citizens of Vukovar who, as she said, “have for more than a quarter of a century suffered injustice resulting from the inexplicably sluggish and ineffective institutions.” They were also interested in his view on the fact that, in addition to the president, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković and Interior Minister Davor Božinović also sided with the mayor on the use of Cyrillic script in the eastern town.

“It is obvious that at the moment we have different opinions,” Pupovac said and added that “even when there are different opinions, and the responsibility is shared, they need to be discussed.”

Pupovac said that the Constitutional Court decision that the rights of the Serb national minority in Vukovar have to be improved with regard to bilingualism is very clear, “whether someone is happy with it or not.”

“It is very clear regarding what needs to be implemented in that regard and that needs to be discussed. Any further watering down of that decision is watering down the role of the Constitutional Court and order in Croatia,” Pupovac said.

He denied that this would influence the SDSS MPs and their vote of confidence in the ministerial nominees in parliament and underscored that the government reshuffle was debated as a special topic. He said that the coalition partners would discuss the Constitutional Court decision after the confirmation of the new ministers.

Pupovac said that some of the Constitutional Court decisions were obligatory, for example with regard to seals or issuing documents in Cyrillic upon an oral request.

“Those decisions are obligatory and there can be no debate about the Constitutional Court’s findings. Other sections of the law on the official use of language and the provisions of the Constitutional Court on the rights of national minorities and the provisions of the Constitution can be debated without causing conflict or tension,” he said.

Pupovac said that the people who have started commenting on the provisions of the Constitutional Court were threatening “conflicts in which they participated in a few years ago.”

Asked whether he would react similarly as he did with the Ustasha salute in Jasenovac and now pass over this implementation of the Constitutional Court decision, Pupovac said that this is not the only case that needs to be put to the test whether something can be passed over.

“This is something that has not existed since yesterday. This matter is closely and seriously connected with the very beginnings of this country and is still taken to be the foundations of this country. You are not questioning those beginnings,” concluded Pupovac.

More news about the status of Serbs in Croatia can be found in the Politics section.


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