Croatian goverment.jpg
Photograph: HINA/ Tomislav Pavlek/ ua

Croatian parliament on Wednesday backed the new conservative Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic, his cabinet and programme promising political stability and economic growth.

Five weeks after Croatia held second parliamentary elections within 10 months, lawmakers voted 91 to 45, with three abstaining, in favour of Plenkovic's cabinet with 20 ministers, four of them doubling as deputy prime ministers.

Davor Ivo Stier is one of the deputy premiers and the new foreign and European affairs minister, while Zdravko Maric retained the finance minister posting from the previous government.

Plenkovic, the new leader of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), listed political stability, rule of law, economic growth and social solidarity as his cabinet's priorities.

He also promised to "responsibly" face Croatia's past, including "undemocratic systems that over the past century caused tragic casualties, persecutions and liquidations of political dissidents."

Croatians remain polarized over the country's Second World War regime, which is still glorified by many despite being a puppet of Nazi Germany, and the post-war Communist government that fell on the eve of their independence from former Yugoslavia in 1991.

Opposition speakers criticized the programme Plenkovic proposed as "superficial" and vague. 

The HDZ secured the majority by renewing the coalition with the still-young Most (bridge) party, though the alliance they forged in the wake of November 2015 polls disintegrated within six months.

The HDZ enabled the renewal of the same coalition when it removed  its chief Tomislav Karamarko, plagued by corruption scandals, replacing him with the moderate former diplomat and European parliamentarian Plenkovic.

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