“An attempt by any branch of government to influence the opinions and decisions of members of Parliament is against the constitutional provisions on separation of powers and the independence of members of Parliament. Milanović violated these provisions in my case and in the case of Veljko Kajtazi (who represents the Roma minority) by trying to influence our opinions, our views, and our decisions, using threats,” Pupovac told a press conference.
Pupovac said that Milanović had called Kajtazi and tried to influence him, while later saying that Kajtazi was blackmailed. He added that the President accused him of making decisions for his own benefit and that the USKOK anti-corruption agency should act against him.
“This kind of presumption constitutes absolute destabilization of the legal order and the autonomy of the work of members of the Croatian Parliament. If anyone thinks that my discussions on the Committee on the Constitution and Rules of Procedure or within the SDSS group were subject to anyone’s influence or any bargaining, they should prove it,” the SDSS leader said.
“And if they do not prove it, while at the same time threatening the state institutions as the representative of the highest state institution in the country, then this constitutes a serious violation of the Constitution,” he added.
Pupovac said that Milanović told him by telephone that the other parliamentary representatives of the ethnic minorities should also vote for his candidate for Supreme Court President, Zlata Đurđević, which Pupovac said was an attempt at exerting influence.
Milanović took advantage of Đurđević.
Pupovac rejected the accusations that they had dragged Đurđević through the mud, saying that Milanović was creating “an alternative reality.” He said that he thought highly of Đurđević and that he had defended her from right-wing circles who criticized her over her background.
“If anyone dragged through the mud this respectable member of the academic community who agreed to participate in the judicial reform, it was Milanović, with his interpretation of the Constitution and his attitude towards other stakeholders,” Pupovac said, adding that Milanović had taken advantage of Đurđević for his own benefit.
Commenting on the statements and text messages he had received from President Milanović, Pupovac said that Milanović used foul, insulting, and belittling language.
Shortly before this press conference, which lasted 50 minutes, Pupovac published on his Facebook account the text messages he had received from Milanović at the time of discussion on the new Supreme Court President’s appointment. He said he had decided to make them public after seeing such discourse being used in the public sphere.
In one of the messages that Pupovac published. Milanović wrote: “Shame on you, you wretch! The Serb people in Croatia will thrive once they get rid of you and your thieves.” Pupovac said he would not seek an apology.
Pupovac also commented on his cooperation with Milanović during his term as prime minister, saying that, despite promises, they had not managed to have a single Serb-owned house in rural areas connected to the public electricity grid. “So much for his and his government’s care about the Serbs.”
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