Prime Minister-Designate and Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) leader Andrej Plenkovic said on Tuesday that in choosing the ministerial nominees, he combined youth and experience, and that they were people ready to do their best in the next several years to help the well-being of the country.
"First and foremost, the realisation of the key goals, economic growth and development, competitiveness, demographic renewal, quality legal security and social solidarity," Plenkovic told reporters after a session of the HDZ Presidency and National Council at which he presented the nominees.
He said the new cabinet was a very good and expert team which had already had its first working meeting, and that he was confident he would receive parliament's confidence on Wednesday for the new cabinet's programme, which he said was based on the HDZ's election platform and key points included by partners from the Bridge party and representatives of ethnic minorities.
Plenkovic said the 19 ministers comprised 13 members of parliament and four women, and that he would try to improve the men to women ratio in government with other appointments, notably state secretaries.
Asked why he chose Nina Obuljen Korzinek for minister of culture instead of the outgoing Culture Minister Zlatko Hasanbegovic and if he had been under pressure because of that, Plenkovic said there had been no particular pressure regarding Obuljen Korzinek or any other cabinet member.
He said one of the first steps he expected of Obuljen Korzinek was a thorough analysis of the business operations of the Croatian Audio Visual Centre and that, if any irregularities were established, he expected her to do something about them.
Plenkovic said he did not expect any turbulence because Hasanbegovic was not reappointed minister of culture, recalling that he was a member of the HDZ Presidency. Asked if there was room for him in the new administration, he recalled that Hasanbegovic was elected to parliament. "I'm sure that we will find (in parliament) the most appropriate position at which he can show his expertise, competencies and political views in the best way possible."