Wednesday, 24 March 2021

President Zoran Milanović: MPs will Have to Vote Because it is Their Constitutional Obligation

ZAGREB, 24 March, 2021 - President Zoran Milanović said on Wednesday that Parliament would have to vote on his candidate for Supreme Court President, Zlata Đurđević, because that was its obligation under the Constitution.

"They will have to take a vote not because I want them to, but because that is their obligation under the Constitution," Milanović told the press during a visit to the northern Adriatic island of Cres.

Milanović has sent a letter to Parliament calling on MPs to fulfil their constitutional obligation and vote on his proposal to appoint Zlata Đurđević the Supreme Court President.

He accused Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković of concealing the document he had sent to Parliament, adding that Jandroković would not be punished for this theft. "What he did is unprecedented. The HDZ is trying to set up a dictatorship."

Milanović said that the Constitutional Court, which did not support Milanović's position, was a political body consisting of "mainly washed-up HDZ members.

Commenting on the statements by former Dinamo football club boss Zdravko Mamić, who accused some of the judges of corruption, Milanović said: "Always the same story, the same people. Mamić provided some evidence, but those people are no-goods. People who administer justice in such cases and who behave like that cannot be called anything else but no-goods."

Milanović said he did not believe that Mamić had financially supported former President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović. "One should be careful when making such direct accusations. She was accused of serious corruption and I think she will seek satisfaction in court," he added.

Milanović said he believed that judges such as those who had accepted bribes from Mamić were in a minority and that the majority of judges were honourable.

He said that the HDZ-controlled justice system was designed by senior HDZ official Vladimir Šeks. "They are destroying this country and I will fight against that," the President said.

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Wednesday, 24 March 2021

Andrej Plenković (PM), Gordan Jandroković (MP) and Vili Beroš (Health Minister) Get Vaccinated with AstraZeneca

ZAGREB, 24 March, 2021 - Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković and Health Minister Vili Beroš were vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine at Government House on Tuesday, and Beroš said that they had sent a message of confidence in medical science and the medical profession.

"Today we have sent a strong message of confidence in medical science, the medical profession, primarily because we were vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine. We will continue to work diligently on vaccinating Croatian citizens so that they could continue living and working with as little risk of infection as possible. Every vaccinated individual contributes to the protection of the population and is definitely a step towards our old normal, and a step closer to a successful tourist season," Beroš told reporters after the vaccination.

He added that there were still many challenges ahead and that it was important to think about future challenges such as new variants of the virus.

"I believe that with this message we have encouraged citizens to follow us on that path, to curb the epidemic and return to our normal life," Beroš said.

For more about COVID-19 in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Friday, 12 March 2021

President Zoran Milanović: "Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković Has Done the Impermissible"

ZAGREB, 12 March, 2021 - President Zoran Milanović on Friday said that Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković has done something that is unprecedented and impermissible by asking him, as the proposer, to supplement his draft decision on the selection of the Supreme Court president.

Jandroković sent back Milanović's draft decision after identifying some shortcomings.

Milanović said that Jandroković put his recommendation for the Supreme Court candidate "in a drawer," underscoring that Jandroković has no right to do so.

"He has no right to do that, whatever the HDZ majority in the Committee on the Constitution, thinks," Milanović told reporters in Požega after attending an oath giving ceremony by the 29th generation of volunteer army recruits.

Only thing protecting Jandroković from consequences is his immunity

Milanović said that the Speaker had done something he is not allowed to and the "only thing protecting him from the consequences is his immunity."

"He stole the document I sent to the parliament and allowed himself to interpret it... and assess the legality of my recommendation," claimed Milanović, adding that only the parliament can decide on the legality of something and not Jandroković.

"In future too he or anyone else can do what they want with documents and proposals. That is (ruling party) HDZ's message to parliament and its partners in the government... and if they want to agree to Jandroković shelving issues at his discretion and conducting a legislative analysis of a proposal's admissibility, let them do so. That is the road to tyranny," underscored Milanović.

Jandroković has privatised the position of Parliament Speaker

Milanović called out Jandroković for "privatising the position of Parliament Speaker," which the "HDZ majority in the parliamentary Committee on the Constitution gave him the right to do."

Milanović underscored that his recommendation for president of the Supreme Court, Zlata Đurđević, is a good choice, reiterating his stance that a public call for applications for the position is not transparent and that he as the president of the country has the authority to recommend a candidate.

"If you don't like it, abolish it, but it exists - all my authority and duty is to make a recommendation and I did so and that is the most transparent way possible. The public call is not transparent. Hundreds of Croatian lawyers are perhaps scared and don't want to participate in a travesty... Professor Đurđević is my candidate. Reject her, I dare you!" said Milanović.

He also commented on criticism by some constitutional law experts of his refusing to support one of the candidates that applied for the position, saying that these were people who wish to become Constitutional Court judges and are just waiting outside the Constitutional Court door waiting for a public call so they "can jump in."

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Wednesday, 10 March 2021

Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković Asks President Zoran Milanović to Supplement Supreme Court Chief Justice Motion

ZAGREB, 10 March, 2021 - Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković on Wednesday called on President Zoran Milanović to supplement his motion concerning the nomination and election of the Supreme Court President.

The request to amend the motion ensued after some shortcomings were noticed in the submitted motion, a source from the Office of Parliament Speaker said.

Under Article 170 of the legislature's rule book, the sponsor of a motion can be asked to resubmit the amended motion within 15 days, after the parliament speaker establishes that the initial motion has not been submitted in accordance with the rule book of the national parliament.

Otherwise, the motion shall be considered null and void.

On Monday, Milanović announced his plan to nominate the Zagreb law school's professor Zlata Đurđević as his candidate for the Supreme Court President, and said that he would send the relevant proposal to the Sabor on the same day.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Monday, 8 March 2021

Parliament Speaker Issues Message on International Women's Day

ZAGREB, 8 March, 2021 - Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković said on Monday that although a lot had been done in including women in public, professional and political life, further efforts should be made to reach the highest standards in gender equality.

Observing International Women's Day on 8 March is an opportunity to express our gratitude and respect to all women that make our society better and more developed, Jandroković said in his message.

On this day we remember all social, economic, cultural, political and scientific achievements made by women in the past, he said adding that Croatia is among countries in which women's rights are protected to a high degree. He underscored that gender equality is a fundamental value of the Croatian constitution.

Jandroković called for further efforts to reach the highest standards in gender equality, including the protection of women against verbal humiliation and violence.

The status of women in politics, society and the enterprise sector is one of the fundamental civilisational values and a mirror of a mature democracy, he said, wishing women all the best for International Women's Day.

Friday, 29 January 2021

No Voting in Parliament Due to Lack of Quorum

ZAGREB, 29 January, 2021 - Due to the lack of quorum in parliament on Friday the usual voting on discussed items was postponed, including on amendments to legislation related to post-earthquake reconstruction, the declaration of an Exclusive Economic Zone in the Adratic and so on.

Voting is postponed until conditions allow and that won't be today, Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandrokovic said after establishing that conditions to conduct voting did not exist as only 75 MPs were present instead of the necessary 76.

Prior to that, MP Zvonimir Troskot (MOST) called out Jandroković for allowing the parliament to turn into a circus because he did not allow voting on MOST's motion to abolish the mandatory membership fee paid by members of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK), thus reducing the burden on entrepreneurs.

"We did everything according to the relevant procedure but you put the debate on our motion on the agenda late last night," Troskot said, accusing Jandroković of not allowing the vote on his party's bill.

Jandroković denied the claims, reiterating that the bill would be put to the vote after party groups making up the parliamentary majority completed their consultations on the matter.

Earlier Jandroković underlined that it was the Speaker who decided on the agenda and voting.

The item regarding amendments to the HGK Act was put on the agenda after a long debate on the National Development Strategy, Jandroković told Troskot.

Wednesday, 30 December 2020

Gordan Jandrokovic Encourages MPs to Donate Part of Wage to Earthquake Victims

December the 30th, 2020 - Croatian Parliament President Gordan Jandrokovic has called on all MPs to donate part of their salary to the victims of yesterday's devastating Petrinja earthquake which affected several continental Croatian towns, ruining buildings, causing injury and tragically even taking multiple lives.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, on Wednesday, the President of the Croatian Parliament, Gordan Jandrokovic, called on all members of parliament to donate money and other materials to help victims in earthquake-stricken Sisak-Moslavina County. He noted that all MPs should give up part of their salary for December.

"Dear colleagues, we're witnessing a great tragedy caused by the devastating earthquake that struck many residents of Sisak-Moslavina County, but also the rest of Croatia," said Gordan Jandrokovic.

''Unfortunately, according to currently available information, seven human lives have been lost. And while nobody can bring back the lives of the victims, the earthquake has caused great material losses and financial damage that we can jointly compensate for,'' he continued.

He therefore suggested that they all give up part of their salaries for the month of December.

''I'd like to invite you to join the numerous Croatian citizens who are selflessly helping all the victims and come together to show solidarity, as was done after the Zagreb earthquake in March. I'm suggesting that we all give up a part of our salaries for December and pay a monetary donation into the accounts of the Croatian Red Cross or Croatian Caritas,'' Gordan Jandrokovic proposed to Croatia's MPs.

''Thank you in advance to everyone who intends to respond to this invitation, as well as for any other help you're already showing,'' concluded Gordan Jandrokovic, who is himself visiting Petrinja and Glina on Wednesday.

For more, follow today's live updates. To find out how you too can donate money, food, material and humanitarian aid, click here.

Wednesday, 23 September 2020

MP Removed from Parliament Chamber for Refusing to Wear Face Mask

ZAGREB, Sept 23, 2020 - MP Karolina Vidovic Kristo of the rightwing Homeland Movement was asked to leave the Parliament chamber on Wednesday after refusing to wear a face mask during the session.

"Please put your mask on or I will have to suspend you from the discussion," Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandrokovic told Vidovic Kristo after she demanded that the national coronavirus response team lift the obligation for children to wear masks in school.

Jandrokovic then called a break and suspended the Homeland Movement MP for the day because she refused to wear a face mask.

Showing 1,033 letters from concerned parents demanding that the national coronavirus response team be disbanded, Vidovic Kristo called for an immediate end to what she said were questionable, excessive and unnecessary restrictions on children's freedom.

"We demand that the obligation for children to wear face masks be revoked immediately," the MP said, citing scientific research showing that wearing masks did not help in reducing the risk of infection with the coronavirus, but could cause health and mental problems in children.

She also criticised the excessive use of hand sanitisers and unnecessary tests for people showing no symptoms, saying that Croatia had wasted HRK 200 million on that.

Branko Bacic, the chairman of the parliamentary group of the ruling Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), described Vidovic Kristo's speech as scandalous, stressing that the national response team's decisions had been upheld by the Constitutional Court.

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Monday, 24 August 2020

Jandrokovic: Croatia Turned To Future, Expects Constructive Dialogue From Serbia

ZAGREB, Aug 24, 2020 - Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandrokovic said on Sunday that Croatia had won an imposed war and that it was oriented to the future and wished to commemorate every victim, and that it expected Serbia to take part in that dialogue more constructively.

"Croatia is turned to the future and we primarily want to commemorate every victim," Jandrokovic said in Barban in a comment on the announced visit of Deputy Prime Minister Tomo Medved to Grubori, where members of Croatian forces committed a war crime in 1995.

Jandrokovic, who was attending the 45th Prstenac tournament in Barban, said that history was well known and that it was well known who in the 1990s war was the aggressor and who the victim.

"Our messages have been very clear - the ball's no longer in our court, we expect Serbia to participate in that dialogue much more constructively, turned to the future," he said.

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Tuesday, 28 July 2020

Speaker Says Will Continue to Ask All MPs to Wear Masks in Chamber

ZAGREB, July 28, 2020 - Speaker Gordan Jandrokovic said on Tuesday the parliament presidency was agreed today about recommending that all MPs wear masks in the chamber and that he would continue to ask all to do so.

Speaking to the press after a presidency meeting, he said wearing masks was, for now, a recommendation and that, depending on developments, "we will see whether to ban those who don't want to or avoid wearing a mask from being in the chamber."

"I firmly believe everyone will listen to the recommendation because it doesn't come from us but from experts," said Jandrokovic. He added that as of September if the coronavirus situation deteriorated, stricter measures could be imposed.

Capak hasn't become burden because of Hrebak case

Jandrokovic said he did not think that Krunoslav Capak, head of the Croatian Institute of Public Health, had become a burden because of the case of MP Dario Hrebak. He said Capak had been doing a good job from the start and that the criticisms against him were wrong.

He would not comment on the possibility of President Zoran Milanovic being brought into an awkward situation at the August 5 anniversary of Operation Storm.

"He is responsible for his statements, sometimes also for the problems those statements cause. The government and the prime minister have done a lot both for veterans and for a dignified marking of Storm's 25-year anniversary, so any booing would be inappropriate and I don't expect it. I think something like that certainly won't happen."

As for representatives of the authorities attending the Grubori commemoration, he said they had neither discussed it nor made a decision.

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