Milanovic rejects Butkovic’s claim that he will resign as a lie

NEWS 11.04.202418:18 0 komentara
Ivana Ivanovic / Pixsell

President Zoran Milanovic on Thursday rejected Transport Minister Oleg Butkovic's claim that Milanovic would resign as a lie and labelled Butkovic a liar who should not be trusted.

When asked about his resignation, Milanovic said that he had said everything that needed to be said on the subject.

“Where did you get the idea that I would resign? Do you believe a man who denies the existence of text messages from Josipa Rimac’s mobile phone?” Milanovic was referring to text messages exchanged in 2019 between Butkovic and former HDZ party official Josipa Rimac, who has been charged with corruption. Rimac lobbied Butkovic to have her friend’s son, a civil engineer, hired by the construction company Institut IGH, which does business with the state. The text messages were recently published by the fact-checking website Faktograf.

Milanovic added that he could have acted differently if he had been dealing with honest people.

“But since I am aware of the seriousness of the situation, I will act this way, which is not ideal and harms me and the party,” he said, referring to the SDP.

“If I were to run in the elections, I would take part in a televised election debate, although that could happen now,” he said, adding that Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic is using his non-candidacy as an excuse to avoid televised debates.

I would destroy him in a debate, I would speak in front of the camera and to the citizens, while he would be just a prop. The fact that I am president and commander-in-chief of the armed forces should not stop Plenkovic from confronting me so that he can show citizens what an amateur I am,” he said.

He reiterated that it would be very unintelligent of him to resign “because we are dealing with people who are very prone to crime.”

Milanovic added that it would be legal and constitutional for him to run as a candidate on an SDP party list, as there are similar laws that allow presidents to run in European Parliament elections.

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