The secretary-general of the ruling Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) party, Milijan Brkic, said on Monday that Croatian Radio and Television (HRT) director Goran Radman would have to leave because he was incompetent and because he had violated the law, adding that the parliament's Conflict of Interest Commission and the Administrative Court had confirmed that he was in a conflict of interest.
"When almost four years ago the then ruling Social Democratic Party proposed for the position (of HRT director) Goran Radman, the last president of the Yugoslav Socialist Youth Alliance and the last bearer of the Relay of Youth baton, he was installed despite the fact that he lacked any professional quality and had always been appointed politically. The Central Committee of the Yugoslav Communist Party was the first to make such a decision, the second time (Radman was appointed) by (former president Ivo) Josipovic, and was then taken over by (former PM Zoran) Milanovic, who is now fervently defending him," Brkic said on his Facebook account.
Brkic claims that the director of the public broadcaster had cancelled programmes that were "unacceptable" to "his party", replaced all editors and laid off reporters for whom he believed that they did not share his political views and hired incompetent editorial staff, including his close friends.
Brkic also says that in Radman's first year in office it was established that he was also the director of a company and a member of the management boards of Hypo Alpe Adria Bank and Altantic Group.
He goes on to say that the Conflict of Interest Commission established that Radman was in conflict of interest and that in July 2015 the Administrative Court confirmed that opinion, however, Radman did not resign.
"Radman allowed other countries' 'services' to instruct and run a part of the employees, thus editing programmes to foment political spin, social division and to smear our country. The public television which is paid by all Croatian citizens should be the first to oppose divisions in society, rather than be fomenting them," Brkic said on his Facebook account, among other things.
HDZ leader Tomislav Karamarko, too, said this past Saturday that Radman should leave and that his replacement did not constitute a purge.
"I am not satisfied with that public service which we all pay. That television is in the service of one party and serves to destroy the political cooperation between Bridge and the HDZ. Mr Radman should leave and that structure should start acting professionally and objectively," Karamarko said.
The plan to replace Radman has also been supported by Ivan Kovacic, who chairs the club of parliamentary deputies of the Bridge party, which recently formed the government with the HDZ-led Patriotic Coalition.
Kovacic believes that Radman is in a conflict of interest and that his term has been compromised by a number of scandals.
HRT programme director Sasa Runjic on Saturday dismissed Karamarko's claims, saying that any unfounded attack on the HRT was a direct attack on democracy.