Former Administration Minister Lovro Kuščević (Photo: Dusko Jaramaz/PIXSELL) Former Administration Minister Lovro Kuščević (Photo: Dusko Jaramaz/PIXSELL)

Prime Minister Andrej Plenković addressed reporters on Monday evening and said that Lovro Kuščević has offered his resignation and that he has accepted it.

“With everything that's been happening in recent weeks, we concluded that it was taking a toll on him personally, on the government and on the HDZ. Now it is up to Minister Kuščević to shed light on all the unanswered questions on this matter so that he can continue with his political career,” Plenković told a news conference.

This comes after weeks of allegations in the media that Kuščević used his powers as a local official on the island of Brač to push through a land zoning change brought him significant profits. Kuščević is stepping down as both minister and the HDZ's political secretary. He will be returning to parliament as an MP.

“As the Prime Minister stated, I offered my resignation and Mr. Plenkvović accepted it. I am a responsible politician. I've been in politics for a long time. I served three terms as the head of a municipality, two terms as a county assemblyman, and was named minister three times. The baseless negative media coverage I've received is a huge burden on the party and the government. I don't want to be a burden that will hold back the good work this government is doing,” Kuščević said.

The HDZ’s coalition partners, the People’s Party, had demanded Kuščević step down. The partners were scheduled to meet tomorrow, however, the key issue on the agenda appears to have been resolved. The People’s Party issue a statement late Monday, saying they welcomed the decision and that the believed in “high moral character” when it comes to politics.