Human Shield party president and MP Ivan Sincic said on Sunday that Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) president Tomislav Karamarko should resign as first deputy prime minister because of his wife's business relationship with a lobbyist for the Hungarian energy company MOL.
"What's happening with the Karamarko couple is really scandalous, a political disgrace and corruption. Imagine, I'm Karamarko, a Croatian patriot, fighting for Croatian interests, for the property of Croatian citizens... fighting for INA to be ours and shouting it from the rooftops, while at the same time my wife is working against Croatian interests," Sincic said on a Croatian Television talk show, adding that this was a conflict of interest.
The Parliament's Conflict of Interest Commission earlier this week decided to investigate a case involving Karamarko to determine if he is in a conflict of interest due to a business relationship between his wife Ana and his friend Josip Petrovic, a MOL lobbyist. The Commission will investigate if Karamarko has taken part in any decision-making related to the ongoing arbitration between Croatia and MOL, if that can cause a conflict of interest on his part in the future, and if he has failed to declare the said business relationship. Croatia and MOL are involved in two arbitration cases regarding management rights in the Croatian oil company INA.
Asked by the host about Karamarko's future, Sincic said nothing would happened unless proceedings were launched or parliament replaced him. He said everything depended on the HDZ's ruling partner Bridge. "If they have a conscience, they will vote for his replacement, which will be the end of him politically."
Sincic went on to say that in the next election he would not enter coalitions with the Social Democratic Party, the HDZ or Bridge. He also said he doubted Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic's intentions, saying he took office to bring pharmaceutical companies to Croatia. He also said he was against the privatisation of state companies.