A member of the parliamentary Committee on Domestic Policy and National Security, Zeljko Dilber of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), said late on Wednesday that Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic had overstepped his authority if he indeed had offered former Security and Intelligence Agency (SOA) chief Dragan Lozancic an advisory post in his cabinet.
"What good is the prime minister's co-signature of Lozancic's resignation if he is appointing him as a government adviser? It's difficult for me to say what his motive is, but I have to admit that I am surprised, because he is behaving more like a chancellor than a prime minister," Dilber told an HRT public television current affairs talk show.
Speaking in an interview with HRT earlier on, President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic accused Lozancic of having served as "a personal intelligence officer" for former Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic. Milanovic's Social Democratic Party (SDP) later responded by saying that the president's view clashed with that of the prime minister, who said in an interview on Wednesday that he had seen "no data or results" corroborating claims that Lozancic had violated the law.
Grabar-Kitarovic decided to relieve Lozancic as SOA chief in late January, saying that he had breached the Security and Intelligence System Act and no longer enjoyed her trust. Oreskovic co-signed her decision about a month ago.
Lozancic resigned last week, clearing the way for the appointment of a new SOA chief. The parliamentary Committee on Domestic Policy and National Security on Wednesday endorsed the appointment of Daniel Markic to that post by a majority of votes. Markic was appointed by the president and the prime minister.