Croatian Deputy Prime Minister and Bridge party chief Bozo Petrov said on Monday that he had no knowledge about allegations on electoral fraud during the 8 November parliamentary election, as claimed by Deputy Prime Minister and Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) leader Tomislav Karamarko, and added that if he had known anything about that, he would then report it to relevant institutions.
"If there are suspicions (about irregularities), there is a course of action. You file a report, and it is well-known which institution deals with it," Petrov told reporters in the Environment Protection Ministry where he attended a takeover ceremony between the new minister Slaven Dobrovic of the Bridge Party and his predecessor
Asked by reporters why Karamarko presented accusation now after the government was approved by parliament, Petrov said that he did not know if Karamarko had already talked about that in some other places and was now emphasising the problem.
"I would not know a concrete reason. This question should be referred to Karamarko," Petrov elaborated.
As for an idea of War Veterans' Affairs Minister Mijo Crnoja, HDZ, about compiling a register of traitors, Petrov said that Bridge disapproved of it.
One can send up a trial balloon, but in order to ensure good cooperation, we should harmonise our views, Petrov said, indirectly criticising the announcement of Crnoja's idea without a prior consultation with Bridge.
Asked whether the government and partners in the ruling majority would consider the replacement of a minister, if this is required by professionals from the relevant sector, Petrov said that he could not comment on the ministers who were not proposed by his party.
"This is a political decision, all the ministers proposed by Bridge have clearly defined reforms and time frames. They know what they should do and it this does not happen by any chance, they are ready to assume the responsibility for failure," Petrov said.
He added that he had full confidence in Bridge ministers as they "have been selected not based on their names but based on their competence."