President Zoran Milanović did not attend today's official Statehood Day celebration, calling it a campaign rally for the HDZ.
President Milanović said on Saturday, after a wreath-laying ceremony at Zagreb's Mirogoj cemetery on the occasion of Statehood Day, that he was not boycotting the commemoration, but that it was an election rally and a promise by a political administration that was now being fulfilled.
"On this day 30 years ago, a democratically elected multi-party parliament was constituted in which the absolute majority was held by one political option, for which a relative minority of Croatian citizens voted. Therefore this cannot be a holiday for everyone. There were other options, at least two or three. To single this date out as a holiday of Croatian statehood is very pretentious," explained the president.
Milanović suggested a more universally significant date that did not "bother anyone", adding that Victory Day (August 5) was much more important than May 30.
For his part, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said it was in poor taste for the president to speak in a negative way about the positive legal regulations passed by parliament. He also said he was confident the president would change his opinion on the matter by the end of his mandate.
In 2001 the former SDP government changed Statehood Day from May 30 to June 25th, when in 1991 Croatia proclaimed its independence, a date the president says is more meaningful.
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