PM Plenkovic: HDZ will secure parl. majority, this gov't goes on

The ministers incapable of supporting their colleague in the government cannot be members of my cabinet, Prime Minister and Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) leader Andrej Plenkovic said at an extraordinary news conference on Thursday after dismissing three ministers from the junior partner Bridge as they failed to support Finance Minister Zdravko Maric in the face of opposition demands for him to resign.

PM Plenkovic said that it was important to underscore that the HDZ would secure a parliamentary majority and that this government would continue its work.

"If I, as the Prime Minister, put forward a proposal to the parliament to reject an initiative from Opposition lawmakers and if I put it to the vote, I expect loyal conduct from political partners and ministers in the government. This did not happen today, the line was crossed between confidence and lack of confidence. There are no more dilemmas for me as premier. The ministers who are not able to support their colleague cannot be members of my government. This is the only possible responsible move."

On Thursday morning, Plenkovic instructed the government's secretary to prepare a decision for the dismissal of three ministers from the Bridge party after they voted against a government proposal to reject a motion by the opposition Social Democratic Party (SDP) for a no-confidence vote in Finance Minister Maric.

Plenkovic insists that the HDZ has been fair and open towards the Bridge party.

"This is a situation when we cannot stay in the same boat if one of the partners will not offer a hand to the other partner," he said.

Plenkovic also explained that there were no legal ambiguities as to whether he could relieve ministers of duties in the cabinet.

The premier said that he could do it without the co-signature of the Parliament Speaker and Bridge leader Bozo Petrov.

"If there is no confidence, I can relieve them of their duties without the co-signature," Plenkovic said after Petrov had insisted that his signature was necessary for ordering the ministers to step down.

Text: Hina