After a debate that lasted the whole day, the Croatian 151-seat parliament on Thursday evening gave a vote of confidence in Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic and his second cabinet. Plenkovic said in his address to the parliament that his cabinet would immediately get to work and that he offered dialogue to the Opposition.
Thus, 76 MPs, who make up the ruling majority, voted for the new government, and 59 voted against, with no abstentions. After the vote, Prime Minister Plenkovic and ministers were sworn in, except the new Justice and Public Administration Minister Ivan Malenica who is self-isolating after he tested positive for COVID. The Plenkovic cabinet has four deputy prime ministers – Tomo Medved, Davor Bozinovic and Zdravko Maric from the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) slates, and Boris Milosevic of the Independent Democratic Serb Party (SDSS) who will represent the ethnic minorities and will be in charge of human rights. Medved is the Minister of Veterans’ Affairs, Bozinovic remains the Minister of the Interior and Maric stays in charge of the Ministry of Finance. Nikolina Brnjac is the Minister of Tourism and Sport, Natasa Tramisak is in charge of Regional Development and European Funds, while Radovan Fuchs is the Minister of Science and Education. Tomislav Coric is the Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, Darko Horvat is responsible for Construction, Physical Planning and State Assets, Mario Banozic serves as the Minister of Defence, Malenica will be the Minister of Public Administration and Justice, while Josip Aladrovic heads the Ministry of Labour, Pension System, Family and Social Policy. Nina Korzinek Obuljen continues as the Minister of Culture and Media, Gordan Grlic Radman remains the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Vili Beros stays in charge of the Ministry of Health, Marija Vuckovic continues as the Minister of Agriculture, and Oleg Butkovic as the Minister of Sea, Transport and Infrastructure.
“We, as a parliamentary majority and the government, will endeavour to implement our programme in the next four years to the benefit of all Croatian citizens in the homeland and all those live outside Croatia,” said Plenkovic after his second cabinet won confidence in the parliament. He said that he offered dialogue to the Opposition and noted that some Opposition leaders “obviously misunderstood (his invitation for talks) a few days ago.” Nevertheless, we will have new opportunities, he added. A majority of the Opposition clubs said in their concluding addresses before the vote on the new government that they would offer harsh but constructive criticism.