• Friday, 21 June 2024

Croatian parliament OKs right-wing government, 3rd term for premier

Croatian parliament OKs right-wing government, 3rd term for premier

Budapest, 18 May 2024 (dpa/MIA) - The Croatian parliament has approved the new right-wing coalition government of Prime Minister Andrej Plenković.

On Friday evening, 79 of 151 elected MPs voted in favour of the cabinet, 61 voted against and one abstained, Croatian television HRT reported.

Plenković, who is also chairman of the conservative HDZ (Croatian Democratic Community), became prime minister for the third time in a row.

For the first time, the far-right and eurosceptic ultra-right Homeland Movement (DP) of Vukovar mayor Ivan Penava is part of a government in Zagreb.

It has been given three of 18 ministries, including a newly created portfolio for population policy. It is to develop strategies to combat the population decline caused by emigration and low birth rates.

The HDZ was the strongest party in the parliamentary elections in April but fell short of an absolute majority, winning only 61 seats.

That led to weeks of political uncertainty and growing speculation that Plenković, who has been prime minister since 2016, was ready to work with the Homeland Movement, which garnered 14 seats, in order to secure a third term.

The Homeland Movement has attracted attention for its anti-Serb rhetoric. Its strongholds are in the region of Eastern Slavonia, which borders Serbia and was severely affected during Croatia's 1991 war for independence from the former Yugoslavia. Today, only 4% of Croatian citizens are ethnic Serbs.

MIA file photo