The parliamentary group of the ruling Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) decided on Friday that the Committee on War Veterans would withdraw an amendment proposing that Antifascist Struggle Day should no longer be observed as a national holiday but as a memorial day, the group's chairman Branko Bacic said after their meeting.
The amendment will be withdrawn after the government rejects it, Bacic said.
He said that the chairman of the Committee on War Veterans, Josip Djakic, explained at the meeting how the amendment had been proposed and that they agreed to fully support the government bill amending the Holidays, Memorial Days and Non-Working Days Act.
"Djakic was explicit in saying that he would support the bill. There is still time until November 14, and the group's position is that it will support the bill and the decision of the party, which has taken a clear stance on this bill," Bacic said.
Asked to comment on the announcement by an HDZ member of the Committee, Stevo Culej, that he would not back the government bill, Bacic said that it was his business, adding that there was still time before the bill was put to a vote on November 14.
Speaking of the amendment put forward by the Committee on War Veterans, Bacic said that the proposal was obviously made by some of the Committee members, "I think external ones."
"We in the HDZ have made clear our position on June 22 as Antifascist Struggle Day and we stand by it. This bill is harmonised with the Constitution, in which President Tudjman clearly wrote that Croatia's sovereignty is founded on the resolutions by the ZAVNOH (State Antifascist Council for the National Liberation of Croatia) in contrast to the NDH (Nazi-allied Independent State of Croatia) and on the Homeland War," Bacic said.
"Those who do not understand this obviously do not understand the Constitution or the HDZ's programme. In the afternoon, the Presidency and National Council of the HDZ will once again reinforce the policy of the party's present leadership which strongly follows the doctrine of Dr Franjo Tudjman," he said, adding that he expected every HDZ member to implement the party's doctrine and programme.
The Committee on War Veterans later said it had withdrawn all five amendments to the holidays bill, including one proposing that Antifascist Struggle Day become a memorial day and a workday.