After the historic vote on the dismissal of Prime Minister, Croatia finds itself in a position like never before.
After the motion of no confidence against Prime Minister Tihomir Orešković was adopted in Parliament today, he and all members of his government were immediately dismissed from their positions. However, they will continue to perform their duties as a caretaker government until a new government is formed, with or without new parliamentary elections.
Political parties now have 30 days to form a new government or Parliament will automatically be dissolved and new elections called. President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović has already called consultations with political leaders which will begin on Friday morning. It is not expected that anyone will bring her 76 MPs’ signatures of support needed for the Prime Minister-designate to be appointed at this moment.
The only major party which has announced it would try to form a new government in current Parliament is HDZ, which brought down Orešković together with some of their coalition partners. They claim they currently have the support of 68 MPs, and that they would attract enough additional MPs in the next 30 days for their candidate, current Finance Minister Zdravko Marić, to become Prime Minister-designate and ultimately new Prime Minister. However, according to statements of other MPs, chances for HDZ to succeed in this “coalition reshuffle” appear to be very slim.
There is another possibility, and that is for majority of MPs to sign a request to Speaker Željko Reiner to put the motion for the dissolution of Parliament to the vote. If the majority were to support such a motion, new elections would have to be called immediately by the President within the next 30 to 60 days.
Since coalition reshuffle does not appear to be a very likely scenario, early elections are almost unavoidable. The only issue is whether MPs will wait for the 30 days to pass, or whether they will vote to dissolve Parliament before the deadline.