New government under Andrej Plenkovic voted in power by Croatian Parliament
A new centre-right aligning government headed by Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic and many ministers from the previous administration was elected by the Croatian Parliament on 23rd July. The new government, which has 4 deputy prime ministers and 16 ministers, is a coalition of, ‘the HDZ, two liberal formations, the Croatian People’s Party, HNS, and Reformists and all eight national minority MPs’ and received the votes of 76 MPs of the total 151. The retaining of ministers from the previous government is being perceived as an emphasis on stability.
The Prime Minister introduced the new government’s programme and stressed that social security, raise in average and minimum wages and increase in agricultural production will be ensured by the government. He also said to the MPs that the support and confidence of the citizens will motivate the government to counter the challenges ahead which also includes the ongoing pandemic. The four deputy prime ministers of the government are Boris Milosevic, from the Independent Democratic Serbian Party; Davor Bozinovic who is the HDZ’s interior minister; Tomo Medved, the War Veterans minister; and the Finance minister Zdravko Maric who was an independent candidate in the elections. The latter three deputy ministers have retained their positions from the previous government.
The five other ministers that have kept their positions from the previous government are, ‘Health Minister Vili Beros, Foreign and European Affairs Minister Gordan Grlic Radman, Agriculture Minister Marija Vuckovic, Maritime, Transport and Infrastructure Minister Oleg Butkovic and Culture Minister Nina Obuljen Korzinek, although this ministry will be called now the Ministry of Culture and Media.’
Mario Banzoic, who was the Minister of State Assets in the last government, got the defence portfolio and the Minister of Labour and Pension System formerly, Josip Aladrovic, retained his portfolio which was merged with social policy. Tomislav Coric, who was the former Environment and Energy minister undertook the economy ministry which was merged with sustainable development and the former Minister of Economy, Entrepreneurship and Crafts, Darko Horvat, got the Construction, Physical Planning and State Assets portfolio. Ivan Malenica, who retained the Ministry of Public Administration and got the additional charge of justice, was not able to attend Thursday’s session as he has been diagnosed with coronavirus. The new faces include Nikolina Brnjac, who got the Tourism and Sports Ministry and Natasa Tramisak, the new Regional Development and EU Funds Minister. Radovan Fuchs assumed the role of Minister of Science and Education.
Jadranka Kosor, who was in power from 2009 to 2012, noted the lack of gender equality in the ministry allocations as all major ruling positions which included the president and vice-presidents of the parliament, the prime minister, and deputy prime ministers went to men. Kosor said in his statement to N1 television that they had taken a step back from previous governments which had appointed women in some of these positions. In the parliamentary elections that were held on 5th July, only 34 elected MPs out of the 151-seat parliament are women while the 2016 parliamentary elections saw even fewer female elected representatives. Gender Equality Ombudsman Visnja Ljubicic tolf the Vecernji List daily that although the number of women has increased in the new parliament, gender equality in the country’s parliamentary democracy is still far away. She also said that many parties had failed to nominate enough women as candidates for the July election.