14 Ministers Replaced since Start of Plenković Cabinet

By 28 January 2020

ZAGREB, January 28, 2020 - During the first 39 months of the term of Prime Minister Andrej Plenković's government, 14 cabinet ministers have been replaced with most of them having to step down due to scandals related to their personal property and assets.

In addition to Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, the only ministers from the original cabinet, which came into power on 19 October 2016, include Finance Minister Zdravko Marić, Veterans' Affairs Minister Tomo Medved, Minister of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure Oleg Butković, Minister of Culture Nina Obuljen Koržinek, Tourism Minister Gari Cappelli and Environment and Energy Minister Tomislav Ćorić, who was originally Minister of Labour and Pension System.

The most recent minister to "fall" from Plenković's "starting lineup" is Health Minister Milan Kujundžić while the first ministers, who were "expelled" were ministers nominated by the MOST party, the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) junior coalition partner after the September 2016 election, after they voted against rejecting a no confidence motion, submitted by the Opposition, against Finance Minister Marić.

This led to a new parliamentary majority being formed with the Croatian People's Party (HNS) taking on the role of HDZ's junior coalition partner in mid-2017 when changes happened at the helm of seven ministerial departments.

The HNS nominated Predrag Štromar for the Minister of Construction, while Blaženka Divjak took on the Ministry of Science and Education replacing Pavao Barišić who was ousted due to the scandal of alleged self-plagiarism of a research paper

Davor Božinović who had served as chief-of-staff in Plenković's office was then appointed as Minister of Interior Affairs while Dražen Bošnjaković was appointed as Justice Minister. Tomislav Ćorić was appointed as Minister of Environment and Energy vacating his ministerial position of labour and pension system which was then taken over by Marko Pavić while Lovro Kuščević was appointed Public Administration Minister.

Disappointed with the fact that the government took the HNS as its junior partner, the then Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Davor Ivo Stier of the HDZ, resigned and his position was taken over by Marija Pejčinovic Burić.

When the "hotmail" scandal erupted regarding the adoption of the law on systemic companies, dubbed Lex Agrokor, in May 2018, Economy Minister Martina Dalić was replaced by Darko Horvat.

The next major government reshuffle occurred over non-transparent property dealings surrounding four ministers which was why in July last year Plenković dismissed Agriculture Minister Tomislav Tolušić, Regional Development and EU Funds Minister Gabrijela Žalac, Public Administration Minister Kuščević and State Assets Minister Goran Marić.

Nada Murganić, who was at the helm of the ministry of demographics, family, youth and social policy was replaced due to accumulated problems in social welfare system.

Marija Vučković was appointed Agriculture Minister in the reshuffled government while Marko Pavić was transferred to the helm of Regional Development and EU Funds. The Labour Ministry was taken over by Josip Aladrović while Ivan Malenica was appointed to the Public Administration Ministry and Vesna Bedeković was appointed to the Ministry of Demography, the Family, Youth and Social Policy, and Mario Banožić took on the State Assets Ministry.

During that same reshuffle, Pejčinović Buric who was already elected Secretary-General of the Council of Europe, was replaced by Gordan Grlić Radman.

According to the latest reports, Minister Kujundžić will be replaced by Assistant Minister Vili Beroš.

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