Opposition parties in parliament welcomed the Constitutional Court's decision quashing the parliament's "epidemiological" Standing Orders and called for new rules to be prepared as soon as possible to enable lawmakers to participate in the work of the parliament.
Homeland Movement (DP) whip Stjepo Bartulica said he was pleased with the ruling, underlining that from the very beginning the DP had warned that they were opposed to limiting MPs’ participation in debates.
“I think that even more debate in this House is required and not less. We are aware that this crisis requires certain changes. However, in this situation it is important that the Sabor keeps its ground and that it enables all lawmakers to continue with their everyday duties,” Bartulica told reporters in Parliament House.
He added that the DP was opposed to the current two-week recess, underscoring that it is important to enable the Sabor to continue working in these unusual circumstances.
Obvious abuse by majority in defining agenda
“For three weeks now we have not seen reports on the work of the courts or DORH (State Prosecutor’s Office) on the agenda and I think that is obvious abuse by the majority in defining the agenda. We will continue insisting to be allowed to a timely debate on all important issues and not for them to be deferred indefinitely,” he said.
Following the Constitutional Court ruling, it is necessary to define how Sabor can continue working in these circumstances, he added.
Speaking on behalf of the Green-Left bloc, Tomislav Tomasevic claimed that the Constitutional Court just confirmed what the opposition had been saying the entire time and that is that amended Standing Orders were not in line with the Constitution because they did not allow MPs to participate in debates.
“Seeing that it is technically possible to vote, then it is also possible to enable everyone to participate in debating. That is their right,” underlined Tomasevic.
Standing Order should be urgently changed
He believes that parliament’s Standing Orders need to be changed as soon as possible and expects that to be done next week already before parliament sits again.
The Green-Left bloc suggested that MPs can sit in four smaller chambers adjacent to the grand chamber where all MPs can follow the debate while using a microphone at the entrance of the grand chamber if they wish to reply.
“I hope that an agreement will be made soon as now the work of the Sabor is not regulated at all and an agreement has to be reached before the plenary sitting,” said Tomasevic.