Croatian President Zoran Milanovic said in an interview with Nova TV on Thursday evening that he would not approve any of the three candidates running for the Supreme Court President and that he would reveal the name of his candidate “soon”.
“I will not accept any of those people. It is nothing personal. This is a serious deviation from constitutional practice and custom, “Milanovic said in an exclusive interview marking his first year in office.
“I have been thinking about this for a while, talking about it and trying to keep it discreet. “I want to go public with my proposal at the right time, proposing a person who meets my criteria and who is acceptable to both the ruling majority and the opposition,” the president said.
He stressed that he would discuss the issue with the prime minister and leader of the opposition Social Democratic Party, “and maybe with someone else so as not to go ahead with a candidate who is blacked out in someone’s eyes; instead we will try and reach a compromise. “
Asked when the public would learn the name of his candidate, Milanovic said it would be “at the right time”. He explained that he did not want it to happen like four years ago, “when the current President of the Supreme Court was elected at the last minute because the president (Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović) had her own candidate whom (Prime Minister) Plenković did not accepted. He added that he wants the person he chooses to have been in the public eye for some time and that it would be good if that person were not a judge of the Supreme Court.
Speaking about the Russian-made vaccine Sputnik V against COVID-19, Milanovic said Croatia should take care of its interests and the government should provide this vaccine because it was “its basic duty and loyalty to its people”.
Commenting on the appointment of the Porphyry Metropolitan of Zagreb and Ljubljana as the new patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church (KPS), Milanovic described Porfirija as a high-ranking KPS personality “who is above the standard of those before him.”
“He will be put under a lot of pressure because the SPC is part of the Serbian state, while the Catholic Church in Croatia is not part of the Croatian state,” Milanovic said, adding that the SPC had a major influence in politics, especially in Montenegro. . “It has a big impact on Montenegro now, not the good kind. We will see. There are many challenges ahead. ”
Milanović said he could not see how the new SPC leader could serve as a bridge to his Serbian counterpart, Aleksandar Vućić. “We are secular statesmen. “I am the president of a European democratic country, while Vucic is the president of a country with a different political system and a different approach to democracy,” he added.
Regarding the local elections in May, Milanovic said he would not vote because he wanted to be stable. “I have to be consistent here. I did not vote (in the parliamentary elections) because I strongly believe that in the current scheme of things the President of the Republic should not vote and provoke questions about who he voted for. The president should be excluded from this. You will not see me at the polling station. ”
Asked about his presidency, Milanovic said that being President “is not a job, but a call; it is a way of life. Asked what he would be remembered for, he said: “You will remember the year, not me, for all the wrong reasons.” He added that “of course there were some good things and some not so good, and some things had probably been very impulsive”.
Regarding his relationship with Prime Minister Plenković, Milanovi. Explained that it was that “in all sensitive and difficult issues he has been kind and supportive. I have not analyzed much, I have not criticized nor I have not followed every move made by the government and comment on each of its tactical measures because that would be unfair. ”
He said he was against the state of emergency in the country imposed by “a group of unknown and unelected people who have officially decided on our fundamental human rights and freedoms for a year now”.
Asked about his Facebook comments about female victims of sexual violence, which were seen by some as minimizing their situation, Milanovic said he was elected by Croatian citizens, both men and women, and that he treated them women “gender neutral, as for their rights.”