Serb Representative against Changes to Croatia’s Election Law

By 14 May 2018

ZAGREB, May 14, 2018 - Milorad Pupovac, who represents the Serb minority in the Croatian Parliament, said on Sunday that the position of proponents of the referendum to change election legislation, who want the parliamentary representatives of ethnic minorities excluded from votes of confidence in the government and decisions on the budget, was unconstitutional and segregationist.

Pupovac said that "The People Decide" initiative was launched "when the position of ethnic minorities has deteriorated, at the time of animosity and intolerance which started four or five years ago, so that they could get support from disillusioned people and lay the groundwork for segregation."

If this initiative succeeds, it will create an environment in which some people will not have the same rights and the same opportunities as others, and "they will be marked as people who are not welcome to participate in decisions on important affairs of the state and important state policies," Pupovac said in response to questions from the press at a memorial ceremony on Mount Petrova Gora.

The civil initiative "The People Decide" on Sunday started gathering signatures for a referendum to change election legislation. They demand preferential voting without any limits, postal or electronic voting for voters who live abroad and the restriction of the right of the representatives of ethnic minorities to vote on key issues such as the budget. Signatures will be gathered until May 27.

Pupovac was also asked to comment on the leaked emails between Deputy Prime Minister and Economy Minister Martina Dalić and the consultants and lawyers who had been involved in the drafting of the law on the indebted Agrokor food and retail group, and whether it would be good if Dalić resigned before a settlement with Agrokor's creditors was reached.

He said that his position was that what was damaged should be repaired and not destroyed. "This is not about the prime minister or the government. The damage should be repaired as soon as possible, and an agreement on repairing the damage should be reached in the coming days," he added.

He said that the case of Minister Dalić would be discussed by the coalition partners and a decision would be announced by the prime minister himself. "Prime Minister Andrej Plenković and the coalition partners know our opinion, which is that the shadow that has been cast is not good for the process. The government must rid itself of the burden of omissions and serious mistakes," Pupovac said.