Speaker of Parliament Defends Changes to Parliamentary Standing Orders

By 22 January 2018

ZAGREB, January 22, 2018- Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković on Monday refuted claims that the new Standing Orders, that are currently being drafted, were aimed at silencing the opposition.

We live in times of social media and mass media, it is impossible to silence anyone, besides that is not the idea, the idea is to be more efficient, to shift focus on the adoption of laws and to have better laws, Jandroković told Croatian Radio.

The Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) is in the final stage of consultations with its coalition partners, Jandroković said, adding that by the end of the week the ruling parties should define the new Standing Orders and then conduct consultations with the opposition. "We are not hiding anything from the opposition, we are waiting to harmonise the positions within the ruling majority," Jandroković said, adding the new Standing Orders would go into force by mid February at the latest.

He also said the HDZ parliamentary group was considering to hold more frequent interactions between MPs and government members, ideally once a month, as opposed to four times a year, as is the case now.

Asked about the ratification of the Istanbul Convention and the Croatian People's Party (HNS) position that it needed to be ratified, Jandroković cited Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, who said that nobody was denying the need to protect women from violence, but that some people believe that the Convention contained a gender ideology dimension. "We clearly must shed more light on this matter and hold more consultations,” Jandroković said.

The Speaker said that while forming a coalition, both the HDZ and the HNS were aware of their different world views and that they needed more time to reach a common position. "I do not see the HNS' position as pressure," Jandroković said, adding that this was a delicate matter.