Croatia president vows ‘rivers of justice’ after court blocks him from running for PM

Ruling precludes showdown between populist Milanović and incumbent conservative Prime Minister Plenković.

Croatia president vows ‘rivers of justice’ after court blocks him from running for PM

Zoran Milanović, currently serving as Croatia’s president, on March 15 announced his candidacy for the post of prime minister for the opposition Social Democratic Party (SDP) in parliamentary elections scheduled for April 17.

Two days later, Croatia’s constitutional court barred him from running for PM until his presidential term ends in February 2025.

Since the president is by definition “a non-partisan person,” the court said in a statement issued Monday, he is not allowed to “participate in the political activities of any political party.”

The court also said that if Milanović becomes “a candidate for [prime minister] of the Republic of Croatia or another public or professional duty,” it would be “incompatible with his constitutional position and powers, and the principle of separation of powers.”

The center-right politician reacted to the court’s decision by posting an unusually short and cryptic message on Facebook: “The rivers of justice are coming.”

The court’s decision means that unless Milanović steps down as president, there will be no showdown between him and conservative PM Andrej Plenković, whose Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) party enjoyed 28 percent support in February despite corruption allegations.

On Friday HDZ taunted Milanović in a tweet, saying his announcement had “motivated us to beat him and his SDP for the third time. Plenković added: “April 17 is World Circus Day. And to make the circus even bigger, Milanović decided to join the elections with SDP.”


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