The Parliamentary Committee on Home Affairs and National Security on Wednesday with a majority vote gave a positive opinion on the appointment of Daniel Markic as the new head of the Security and Intelligence Agency (SOA), with dissenting opinions of Miroslav Tudjman of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) and Darijo Hrebak of the Croatian Social Liberal Party (HSLS).
After the session which was closed to the public, Committee Chairman Ranko Ostojic of the Social Democrats (SDP) briefed the reporters saying that the Committee supported with a majority vote Markic's appointment as the new SOA chief, at the proposal of the President and the Prime Minister.
The Committee's opinion is not binding, however it paved the way to the appointment of the new SOA head, Ostojic told the press.
He also briefed the reporters about the dissenting opinions of Miroslav Tudjman, who said the appointment of the SOA chief should come from the Homeland Security concept provided by the HDZ-led coalition, and of Hrebek, who objected to Markic's dual French and Croatian citizenship which, in his opinion, was an obstacle.
Commenting on the remark that voting on the appointment of the new SOA chief was done based on the votes of the Opposition, Ostojic said that committee members are never divided that way, and that the appointment was passed with a 6:4 vote.
He declined to answer which way he voted.
Ostojic recalled that with its decision today, the Committee had put an end to "a soap" which started on January 27 when President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic said that the then SOA chief Dragan Lozancic no longer enjoyed her trust.
The President then said that Lozancic had violated the Law on Security and Intelligence System, but Ostojic said that the proposal which the Committee discussed today had made no mention of the law violation.
"I have to underscore that, given the proposal that was put before the Committee, it was clearly defined that Lozancic was leaving to another post without a stain on his career which means that he did not break the law. The proposal has made no mention of Lozancic breaking the law and given that he was assigned to another post by Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic, I have no doubts about it," Ostojic said.
Ostojic said he could not says which post Lozancic was assigned.