SDP’s Ranko Ostojić to Become Chairman of Parliamentary Committee on National Security?

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A new role for the former Minister of Interior? 

Although it might seem that the controversy involving Culture Minister Zlatko Hasanbegović has completely overshadowed the issue of dismissal of the Security Intelligence Agency Director Dragan Lozančić, it appears that the story might soon come to its end, even though Prime Minister Orešković has still not signed his dismissal and the Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Internal Affairs and National Security has still not been named. The post traditionally belongs to the largest opposition party, and SDP has proposed as its candidate former Interior Minister Ranko Ostojić, reports Novilist on February 12, 2016.

MOST has demanded from the Speaker of the Parliament to put SDP’s proposal to a vote as soon as possible, so that the Committee could question Lozančić and determine whether he indeed broke the law, as was said in a statement by President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović who has already signed Lozančić’s dismissal. Ines Strenja Linić (MOST) said that her party was against dismissal before the Committee hears from him. Yesterday afternoon, rumours could be heard in Parliament that Speaker Željko Reiner could put Ostojić’s nomination to a vote as early as today.

SDP expects that their proposal will receive a majority of votes. They count on support by MOST and have additionally ordered all of their own MPs to be present during the vote. It seems that there are assurances from MOST that they would support Ostojić. That would be important because it would demonstrate that MOST can make its decisions independently from HDZ, which is against Ostojić. Additionally, SDP believes that the ruling coalition simply cannot ignore the democratic tradition that the opposition controls the Committee.

As far as Lozančić affair is concerned, Prime Minister Orešković does not have a lot of choice but to confirm the President’s decision. Even if the Committee finds that Lozančić did not violate the law, that does not mean that the Prime Minister must not sign his dismissal. The only question is what would MOST do, since they have repeatedly said that they would oppose the dismissal if it turns out that Lozančić had not broken any laws.

SDP president Zoran Milanović said yesterday that the President had humiliated the Prime Minister by signing the dismissal without Prime Minister’s prior agreement. He added that Lozančić should be honoured with medals of the highest order for what he did during his term, and that “Mrs. Kitarović knows very well what I am talking about”.


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