Opposition’s Motion against Finance Minister Marić Fails

The result was 75 in favour and 75 against.

In a dramatic voting session in Parliament on Tuesday, the opposition’s motion of no confidence against Finance Minister Zdravko Marić has failed. Out of 151 MPs, 75 MPs voted in favour, 75 against, while one MP did not vote. 76 votes were needed for the motion to pass.

The key vote against the motion and in favour of the Minister was given by MP Tomislav Saucha. He was elected into Parliament as a member of SDP, and as a close associate of then party president Zoran Milanović. In fact, during Milanović’s government, Saucha was his chief of staff. Several months ago, an investigation was started against Saucha due to alleged fraud committed while he was in the government through forged documents and fake travel expenses. After the investigation was launched, Saucha left SDP and became an independent MP. Interestingly, several weeks ago he was one of MPs who signed the opposition’s motion for Marić’s dismissal. His change of heart is certain to raise questions, given that an investigation against him is ongoing, and because he was the key vote today.

The Parliament will continue its session at around 14:00, but it is not certain what will happen next. HDZ and the majority of MPs demand a vote of no confidence against Parliament Speaker and MOST leader Božo Petrov. He has refused to put that motion to a vote so far.

If Petrov is dismissed, HDZ will probably propose current Deputy Speaker Gordan Jandroković as the next Speaker. It is expected that he might be elected with a similarly slight margin.

Today’s vote is a victory for Prime Minister Plenković who claims that it shows that his government has the majority, despite the breakdown of its coalition with MOST.

Tagged under: crisis 2017