Croatian Parliament Meets for First Session, Unclear If Speaker Will Be Elected

By 3 December 2015

No prime minister, no government, no speaker agreed. The Croatian Parliament sits for the first time since the elections of November 8. 

At 10 am, the Croatian Parliament will meet for its first session after the elections, and for the first time in its democratic history there is no clear parliamentary majority. The first order of business is to elect a new speaker of Parliament, which is the prerequisite for the official inauguration of the new Parliament. Speaker of the last Parliament Josip Leko will chair the session until the election of the new speaker. "If new speaker is not elected, Parliament will be in recess and I will convene the next session when political parties suggest that the necessary majority to form the Government has been created", Leko explained, reports Vecernji List on December 3, 2015.

On the eve of today's first session of the Croatian Parliament, MOST held another round of talks with SDP and HDZ yesterday. Sources claim that MOST has offered its member Robert Podolnjak to be the new speaker. Zoran Milanović (SDP) has reportedly accepted the idea, together with his coalition partners. On the other hand, HDZ has postponed its decision for this morning. Therefore, it is still unclear what will happen, since MOST has announced they would not accept a candidate for speakership who does not have the support of all three major parliamentary groups.

Večernji List reported this morning that the proposal for Podolnjak to become the speaker is no longer realistic. After hearing that HDZ will reportedly have its own candidate, Željko Reiner, SDP allegedly decided to have its own candidate as well, current speaker Josip Leko. However, given that HDZ and SDP will have meetings of their parliamentary groups early this morning, anything is possible, If Reiner and Leko are the two candidates, it is possible that the election could be done via a secret ballot. SDP would prefer that because they are convinced that in this way, in addition to members of their own Croatia is Growing coalition, they could get support from at least a part of MOST. In that case, Josip Leko would probably receive more votes than Reiner, but not enough to be elected.

HDZ president Tomislav Karamarko confirmed yesterday that Željko Reiner is still their candidate for speakership. "Of course that Mr. Reiner is our candidate, that is our right. We will have a meeting of our parliamentary party in the morning, and we are going to discuss MOST proposals", Karamarko said. "We should not waste any time. We are the ones who insist that there should be no new elections because they would cost 120 million kuna", Karamarko explained.