Deputy PM says President Milanovic’s statement on political legitimacy bizarre

NEWS 19.05.202412:21 0 komentara

Deputy Prime Minister and Construction Minister Branko Bacic on Saturday described as bizarre President Zoran Milanovic's claim that Andrej Plenkovic's third premiership is not unconstitutional but that is questionable in terms of political legitimacy.

“This is a bizarre statement having in mind that all the time in the campaigning in the run-up to the parliamentary elections President Milanovic violated the Constitution and he was warned twice by the Constitutional Court,” Bacic told the national broadcaster (HRT) on Saturday evening.

Earlier in the day Milanovic said that “this (parliamentary election) was also a referendum on the prime minister.”

Milanovic said that he is not the opposition and that what he did in the campaign for the parliamentary elections he would do again because the Constitution does not prevent it.

At the beginning of the campaigning, Milanovic held a news conference with Social Democratic Party (SDP) leader, Pedja Grbin, to announce that he would be the candidate of the SDP-led coalition for the prime minister in the 17 April elections.

Later the Constitutional Court warned that Milanovic was supposed to step down as the president if he wanted to be a candidate for the prime minister in the elections, however, he did not resign and continued his presidential term.

Milanovic said on Saturday that the message of the elections has never been clearer because the results show that over 60 percent of voters wanted Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic to go. “But he is still the prime minister. This is not unconstitutional, but political legitimacy should certainly be discussed.”

Bacic said on Saturday that if one is guided by such calculation, one can say that 75% or 76% of Croatian citizens, who did not vote for the SDP-led coalition, were actually against Zoran Milanovic as the SDP candidate for the PM. This could give rise to doubt about the political legitimacy of President Milanovic after such a defeat at the polls, Bacic added.

The HDZ party led by Plenkovic won 61 seats in the 151-seat parliament at the 17 April polls, the SDP-led coalition followed with 42 seats, while the Homeland Movement (DP) won 14 seats, and in the meantime, the DP seats scaled down to 12 as two MPs, who won the seats on the DP slates, left that group.

After the elections, the HDZ and the DP forged the ruling coalition.

As for the DP leader Ivan Penava’s call that the Opposition should allow the government, which was voted into office last Friday, to have 100 days of peace, Bacic said that the government could not enjoy the convenience of 100 days of peace, explaining that the three new ministers from the DP quota will need some time for the adjustment, while all others get to work in full swing as of Monday when the first session of the new government is scheduled.

Concerning the DP’s insistence on the exclusion of the Independent Democratic Serb Party (SDSS) from the ruling coalition, after the SDSS had been a junior partner in the last two governments led by the HDZ, Bačić said that this does not mean that the cabinet would give up from its program for improving the status of all ethnic minorities, including the Serb minority.

Bačić announced relevant programs that will be adopted in cooperation with the parliamentary club of national minorities.

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