Parliament Speaker Zeljko Reiner on Monday confirmed that a public call for the appointment of new constitutional court judges would be advertised during April and that he was confident a consensus would be reached over the matter and that the Constitutional Court would not go into crisis in June, when the term ends for 7 of the 13 judges.
"This month we will advertise a public call for Constitutional Court judges and, as far as I know, efforts are being made to reach a consensus on the matter, that is very important," Reiner told Croatian Radio.
Since 2010, when the Constitution was amended to state that Constitutional Court judges are to be elected by two-thirds of MPs, parliament has not managed to elect any judge and Reiner claims that this is because the former government wanted to impose its candidates for judges.
"During the past term, the former government attempted to impose its candidates and it is because of that that it did not succeed. That shows that candidates cannot be imposed, it is necessary to sit down and agree on the most qualified people who will apply in a public procedure. I believe that that will be achieved, that the procedure will be completed in a timely manner and that qualified people will be selected and that there is no danger that the Constitutional Court will not be formed," Reiner said.
He added that he was convinced that not one political party would attempt to obstruct the appointment of Constitutional Court judges given the importance of that institution.
Asked when the parliamentary Committee for Domestic Policy and National Security would present its opinion on the appointment of Daniel Markic as the new director of the Security and Intelligence Agency (SOA), Reiner said that that was up to the committee's chairman, Social Democrat MP Ranko Ostojic. "It's difficult for me to say what Mr Ostojic will do," Reiner said.
"As far as SOA is concerned, the prime minister and the president obviously agree, just like the law defines. I believe that the committee that needs to give its opinion will do so," he said.
Commenting on the announced price rise in supplementary health insurance, Reiner said that the former government had left behind large debts in the health sector and that it was necessary to implement austerity measures without affecting the quality of services.