The parliamentary Committee on the Constitution, Standing Orders and Political System did not endorse on Thursday a government bill on public holidays, with five members for, four against and one abstaining.
The bill did not get the necessary number of votes because of the one abstention and the fact that a committee member from the ruling coalition did not attend the session.
Parliament will debate the bill on Friday and the committee's negative opinion does not oblige it to reject the bill.
The government has proposed nine changes of public holidays, memorial days and non-working days. The most heatedly debated by the committee, with regard to its historical and state significance, was the proposal to mark Statehood Day again on May 30, instead of June 25, and to mark Independence Day on June 25, instead of October 8, and to relegate it from a public holiday to a memorial day. October 8 would be marked as Croatian Parliament Day, a memorial day.
Grbin: Law is being adopted for political motives related to upcoming elections
The parliamentary group of the SDP said it disagreed with the bill. "We believe this bill is being adopted solely for political motives related to upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections," said Pedja Grbin.
Branko Bacic of the ruling HDZ said the elections were not the reason and that May 30 had been the date that made all subsequent important events possible. He said the proposal was a return to the views of Croatia's first president Franjo Tudjman.
Milorad Pupovac of the ruling coalition's Independent Democratic Serb Party said only two public holidays were constitutionally political in nature and that the others were religious or commemorative. He asked what kind of message was being sent to young people.
As to which one was more important, Statehood Day or Independence Day, he said Croatians always had their statehood in one form or another in the past and that they only did not have full independence.
Anti-fascism has basis in the constitution
As for the initiative of the parliamentary war veterans committee to relegate Antifascist Struggle Day, June 22, from public holiday to memorial day, the committee on the constitution said anti-fascism had a basis in the constitution and in history and that Antifascist Struggle Day should remain a public holiday.
The committee turned down an SDP bill of amendments to the law on the election of the president of the republic in line with the rule not to change election legislation in an election year.