Ahead of voting on new ministers that was scheduled for 5pm, parliamentary committees met today at which Prime Minister Andrej Plenković presented the candidates for members of his reshuffled government cabinet.
Prior to voting, seven minister candidates, at seven parliamentary committees, had to be presented to MPs and respond to their questions along with the prime minister.
The first committee to convene was the committee for the Constitution, Standing Orders and the Political System. Committee vice-president, Social Democratic Party MP Peđa Grbin, was more concerned to hear why the old ministers had left.
“We wouldn't have conducted a debate about Mr. Malenica and Mr. Marić if something called affairs didn't happen,” said Grbin.
“Never, in any moment, I will not allow anyone, to apply labels to my government related to corruption. Never,” responded Prime Minister Andrej Plenković.
“I am not labelling you corrupt. But you were labelled corrupt by Mr. Kuščević, Mr. Tolušić, Mrs. Žalac, and finally the label of corruption was given to you by Mr. Marić. We want to compete with you with programs, goals and ideas, but that is simply impossible with the Croatian Democratic Union government, because with you, corruption always comes first, every time,” said Grbin.
“As far as individual cases are concerned that you are talking about, that will be determined by someone else. Not you or I. I make political choices and am responsible for them, just as I am responsible for this government cabinet reconstruction process, in the general interest of Croatian society, in the general interest of improvement for all of our citizens and with an effort to strengthen the system of values on the Croatian political scene,” responded Plenković once again. .
Questions to candidates followed, first to interior minister Davor Božinović, who should become a Deputy Prime Minister. Peđa Grbin wanted to hear how police were treating migrants, asking if he believes, like the president does, that push back is alright and that a little force during push back is also alright.
“No practice except that which is in accordance with the law, in accordance with authorities and in accordance with the basic job and basic authorities, is used by Croatian police while protecting the Croatian state border. However as far as protection of the Croatian border is concerned and preventing illegal crossings, we will continue to do this,” said Božinović.
At the session of the Committee for Regional Development, Social Democratic Party MP Gordan Maras, who is not a member of the committee, continued with accusations of corruption.
“How do you even have the nerve to tell the Croatian public that you will not allow anyone to label the Croatian government? You and your ministers have made this government the most corrupt government from the beginning of the 90s,” said Maras.
“I see that, at the third committee now, like a stalker who has followed me from the Committee for the Constitution, then to the committee for Agriculture, Mr. Maras has finally succeeded in getting a rebuttal. Madame President you see that you have a man here, who without arguments accuses me and the government of corruption and after that, when he receives a political response, he cries. He pleaded for a third chance to come here and begin to cry, the public must know this. So, if you want to cry, go outside for a bit, have good cry then come back,” replied Prime Minister Plenković.
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