ranko ostojić.jpg
Photograph: Hina/ Dario GRZELJ/ dag

The newly appointed chairman of the parliamentary Domestic Policy and National Security Committee, Ranko Ostojic, said on Friday that at its first session the committee agreed on how it would operate and that he requested that an advertisement be prepared by next Thursday for the selection of the Civil Monitoring Council.

"We consider the Civil Monitoring Council to be a vital segment of the civil monitoring of the security system. We also agreed that by the next meeting on Thursday we would prepare for a discussion on all other items that concern the interests of the Committee's members," Ostojic told reporters.

Speaking about the conclusions from the committee's meeting, Ostojic said that the chairman of the Domestic Policy and National Security Committee was the only person authorised to speak on behalf of the committee regardless of what the conclusion might be except in situations where there was a difference of opinion.

"Today we briefly agreed on how the committee would function and we defined responsibilities regarding data confidentiality," he said.

Asked about the situation in which a decision is expected from Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic regarding the dismissal of Dragan Lozancic, the director of the Security and Intelligence Agency (SOA), and whether it was necessary for the committee to conduct an inquiry, Ostojic said, "With regard to the replacement of the head of the security service prior to his term expiring, which is in mid-October this year, the initiator, namely those who decide and co-sign the appointment, can request the opinion of parliament or the Domestic Policy Committee but they don't have to. Whether the committee will discuss that or not will be seen after Thursday."

The atmosphere at the first committee meeting, he said, was constructive. "As the chairman, I in fact showed that my objective is not to outvote anyone and that every topic, regardless of who it concerns, even if that be me, will be put on the committee's agenda and will be treated as is prescribed by law," he said.

Ostojic was elected on Friday to chair the Domestic Policy and National Security Committee with the votes of the Opposition and the Bridge party while MPs from the Patriotic Coalition voted against his appointment.

"I didn't expect anything other than that. The SDP remained steadfast with its opinion, namely that the position of the chair of that committee belongs to the largest opposition party, and I thank everyone who had understanding, who realised that it was necessary to put the law in first place," Ostojic commented, adding that he would prove himself in his work in the committee.

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