Social Democrat (SDP) leader and former Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic said on Wednesday after he took an oath as a parliamentary deputy that when it came to national interests, his party would be competent and constructive Opposition.
"The SDP will be competent and constructive Opposition when it comes to national interests, but it will be merciless, as the current government and the majority (in parliament) simply do not deserve any respect," Milanovic said on Wednesday expressing his criticism against those who voted against two Deputy Speakers from Opposition ranks earlier in the day.
Vesna Pusic of the Croatian People's Party (HNS) and Milanka Opacic of the SDP were appointed the new deputy speakers of the Croatian parliament, elected from the ranks of the opposition, A total of 76 MPs were in favour of Opacic's election, 15 were against and three abstained, while Pusic received the support of 56 deputies, 33 voted against and five abstained.
This seemed to anger Milanovic who said that after the agreement in parliament (about the two Deputy Speakers from the Opposition), a marked number of MPs voted against Pusic and Opacic.
"Those people do not know what agreement is or they are not familiar with civil norms. This has never happened in the Croatian parliament," said Milanovic, who is now an SDP MP after his four-year term of premiership.
On the other hand, on 28 December, new Parliament Speaker Zeljko Reiner of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) was given support from 59 deputies of the HDZ-led "Patriotic Coalition", 15 deputies of the Bridge party, two MPs elected from the party led by Zagreb Mayor Milan Bandic, two lawmakers from the HDSSB regional party, Reformist Party MP Radimir Cacic, ethnic minority MPs, and outgoing parliament speaker Josip Leko of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) voted for the new parliament chairman. Thus, a total of 88 MPs in the 151-seat Sabor voted for the appointment of Reiner, who was the sole candidate for the post, put forward by 79 MPs. On the other hand, 62 lawmakers abstained from the vote, and those were mainly deputies from the SDP-led Opposition bloc. Only Ivan Vilibor Sincic, the sole MP of the Human Shield party, voted against Reiner's appointment.
Also, when Leko succeeded his deceased party colleague Boris Sprem at the post of the speaker of the national legislature in October 2012, all 123 deputies present in the Parliament then voted for Leko's appointment.