Inaugural Parliament Session Sets the Stage for Future Government 

svecana-sjednica-hrvatskog-sabora-povodom-obiljezavanja-dana-drzavnosti-republike-hrvatske17 October 2016, VG Intelligence Weekly Issue 26

The quiet before the storm could be the phrase best suited to describe this past week on Croatia’s political scene. Following a coalition agreement reached between the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) and the Bridge of Independent Lists party (MOST), it seemed the country was holding its breath to see how events would unfold after a month-long marathon negotiation process between the two partners-in-politics. On October 10, Prime Minister Designate and HDZ head Andrej Plenkovic took 91 MPs signatures of support (well above the 76 minimum) to Croatia’s President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic – a symbolic practice that allowed the President to give Plenkovic the mandate to form a new Government. Once this formality was over, all eyes were on the inaugural Parliamentary session held on October 14. The session had an ambitious agenda – to elect the new Speaker of the House and his deputies, and to pass amendments to four crucial laws that would allow the PM Designate to form the restructured Government he envisions. Bozo Petrov (MOST) takes the reins for the first two years of a rotating presidency of the Croatian Parliament (i.e. Sabor). He will have five deputies; three of the deputies are from the ranks of MOST’s coalition partner HDZ – Petrov’s predecessor Zeljko Reiner, HDZ Vice-President Milijan Brkic and party Secretary General Gordan Jandrokovic. Two deputies will hail from the opposition – Milanka Opacic, Vice President of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and Ivan Vrdoljak, President of the Croatian People’s Party (HNS)…

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