On Friday afternoon, the Parliament has completed its spring-summer session, and the members will return in the second half of September. Before the departure for the “well-deserved” vacation, they held a series of votes. Although the entire procedure for appointing three judges of the Constitutional Court has been completed and consensus reached for the election of Miroslav Šeparović, Mato Arlović and Goran Selanec, the vote has been delayed until the autumn, reports Večernji List on 15 July 2017.
The reason for this was SDP’s ultimatum, which conditioned the election of judges with the establishment of a commission of inquiry for Agrokor. SDP has requested this commission in April, and HDZ did not oppose the idea at the time. However, HDZ has changed its mind and now claims that the commission might hinder an investigation being conducted by the State Prosecutor’s Office (DORH). SDP did not want to give up on its idea and allow HDZ to live in peace until autumn. It announced that, if HDZ refused to form the commission, they would oppose the vote on constitutional judges. Since it takes a two-thirds majority for constitutional judges to be appointed, it is impossible to elect them without SDP’s votes.
SDP has rejected accusations that it is inappropriate to mix up politics with a supposedly independent institution such as the Constitutional Court. In turn, it argues that this case actually shows how much HDZ does not want to set up the commission of inquiry which should clarify the circumstances of how Agrokor was created, what did regulatory bodies do, whether the company lied in its financial statement and many other issues.
Although previous such commissions have not discovered anything of importance and they serve solely as a venue for political debates, HDZ’s argument that the commission would hinder official investigation is also not very convincing since most of the topics to be discussed by the commission would certainly not be a subject of DORH's investigation. Also, the Law on Commissions of Inquiry also provides for the work of the commission to be suspended at certain points if court proceedings are launched.
The Parliament was much more efficient when it came to the rapid dismissal of the Supervisory Board of the Croatian Radio Television. The four members have been dismissed shortly after issuing a report in which they warned about numerous illegal activities of the public broadcaster’s leadership. The ruling majority said that the dismissal was necessary due to criticisms made by the Commercial Court and the Administrative Court, which repeatedly warned the Supervisory Board that it must abide by the Law on the Croatian Radio Television. The opposition has accused HDZ of dismissing people who have pointed to possible corruption.
The president of the Association of Croatian Judges Đuro Sessa was appointed as the new president of the Supreme Court, while unanimous support was given to the law on the invalidity of loans provided by building societies illegally operating in Croatia. MOST’s Law on Enforcement, which should help 330,000 citizens with frozen bank accounts, was also adopted.