Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic on Wednesday said in Split that he did not believe that parliament would be dissolved at an extraordinary session scheduled for September 8 so that a parliamentary election could be called.
“I’m not the parliament speaker. I am the leader of one of the parties that form the majority in parliament and I don’t think it is possible that parliament will be dissolved at the extraordinary session, that’s my opinion,” Milanovic told reporters in response to media speculation that parliament could be dissolved at that session and the election called.
Parliament is being convened for an extraordinary session at our request to consider our proposed bills, Milanovic added. He underscored that parliamentary elections are called for by the President and not the government. “Parliament is dissolved if its mandate does not end prior to that and this mandate expires on the 22nd or 23rd of December. Parliament is dissolved and after that, within the legislative and constitutional deadline, a parliamentary election is called by the President. That is how it has functioned for the past 20 years,” he said.
“When the election should be held is not my job. That is the job of the President, one of the rare duties and obligations of the President. Let her decide on her own or in consultation with others. I won’t interfere,” he said, adding that there were three weekends when the election could be held and that citizens didn’t care when. He recalled that in order for parliament to be dissolved, it required more than 50% of the vote by lawmakers “and then, after the expiry of at least 30 days and at most 60 days, we go to elections.”
Milanovic denied that the government was hesitating with the election until the economic results of Q3 were released. “The results for the third quarter will be released on November 27th or 29th and as far as I’m concerned, we can go to election even before that, we don’t have to wait. Some preliminary data for the start of the third quarter indicate even better results than for the second quarter so there is no need to wait because I’m sure it’s obvious to Croatian citizens – Croatia is growing,” he said.
The government requested that an extraordinary session of parliament be convened for September 8 to speed up the autumn session of parliament “with the intention of finishing what we believe to be vital, or laws that will benefit citizens.” Milanovic underscored that the measures the government was undertaking were not “the division of budget funds as was done seven or eight years ago ahead of elections,” but of laws that will be on the agenda at the extraordinary session of parliament that have been thought about for a long time.
Milanovic met in Split with Mayor Ivo Baldasar, after which he said that Split was a town that was growing and that cooperation between the town and state was very good. “Split is an example of a town that has surpassed itself. It used to be a particularly industrial town, now it isn’t. That is neither good nor bad. Split is one of the best towns in Croatia now and I hope that others won’t be offended by that,” said Milanovic.