A discussion on the Croatian Democratic Union's (HDZ) motion to impeach Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic began in parliament on Thursday, with Speaker Zeljko Reiner reiterating that he would allow Oreskovic to participate in the discussion although, under Standing Orders, he should not do so because the government did not take a position on the motion within the legally prescribed deadline of eight days.
"The prime minister breached parliament's Standing Orders, thus inappropriately and deliberately showing contempt for parliament and the deputies," Reiner said, adding that, because of democratic standards, he would consciously breach the Standing Orders and the allow the prime minister to speak.
Oreskovic arrived in parliament accompanied only by the ministers from the Bridge party. "History is being written, let's finish what what we started," he said when asked by the press how it felt to be impeached by those who brought him to power. "After parliament I will be free (for questions)," he said.
Forty-two MPs of the Patriotic Coalition's HDZ and HSP AS parties listed the reasons for Oreskovic's impeachment in a six-point motion.
They claim that, contrary to his promises, he did not deal with the economy, social issues and job creation, but with "the personnel policy in the repressive apparatus," reproaching him for "maintaining political tension in the state in the interest of gaining personal political power," and for going to the Security and Intelligence Agency (SOA), instead of holding an important government session, for talks about which he did not wish to speak to his deputies and ministers.
They also claim that by cancelling a government session half an hour before it was due without informing its members of the reasons, he showed, "with an incredible degree of political irresponsibility," that he does not understand the constitutional order of the state nor its parliamentary political system, i.e. the fact that "the prime minister is not the chancellor."
"With such behaviour, he brought into question the functioning of the whole executive authority," say the signatories to the impeachment motion.
By cancelling a government session because of a mysterious meeting at SOA, Oreskovic "consciously made that Agency a political factor in the Republic of Croatia, which is incredible for a democratic society," which can be interpreted as an introduction to an attempt at a "chancellor's dictatorship with the help of the repressive apparatus."
The signatories to the motion accuse Oreskovic of an "utter absence of will" to cooperate with the politicians who entrusted him with running the government, as evidenced by his request for the resignation of the leaders of the parties on whose support his mandate depends. "That has led to the non-functioning of the government run by Oreskovic and he, as its leader, bears the biggest responsibility for that."
"On account of such irresponsible political behaviour and the fact that Oreskovic, as a person without political legitimacy, is seeking the resignations of the people who appointed him, the functioning of the state and its financial stability are jeopardised," the motion says.
The motion was not signed by the coalition partners from the HSLS, HSS and BUZ parties and Zagreb Mayor Milan Bandic's party. It was not signed by all HDZ MPs.