President Milanović on Constitutional Court Ruling: This is trampling on the Constitution, a coup d’état!

16. May 2022.

“What these ten Constitutional Court judges have done today is a coup d’état! That court should be abolished, and it should be done by referendum so they can see what the will of the people means when 400,000 people consciously sign a petition. They dared check the mental state and sobriety of 400,000 Croatian citizens who clearly called for amendments to the Constitution,” the President of the Republic Zoran Milanović said in commenting the Constitutional Court’s ruling that the Bridge party’s referendum questions regarding initiatives to abolish the covid certificate and the powers of the national COVID response team were not in line with the Constitution.

President Milanović recalled that former President Ivo Josipović gathered constitutional experts in 2015 to recommend changes to the Constitution and that one of them was that the notion of epidemic should be entered into the Constitution. He added that this entire topic today is no longer relevant because the epidemic has passed.

“The Constitutional Court does not have the right to question the constitutionality of the question to amend the Constitution if conditions stipulated by Articles 86 and 87, paragraph 3 are met in terms of the number of signatures. That has been met! The Constitutional Court needs to be informed of that. Anyone who requests an opinion is violating the Constitution and that is the Parliament run by the HDZ (Croatian Democratic Union). The Constitutional Court went two steps further and did something nobody in Croatia ever dared to do – to rudely trample on the Constitution. This is terrible. This is trampling on the Constitution”, the President observed.

He added that the Constitutional Court judges are a group of people who are striving to protect the image and the work of Andrej Plenković. “This is solely motivated by who was right. Who gave them the right to question the mental state and mood of 400,000 citizens whose signatures requested amendments to the Constitution? Nobody may touch that, no court can examine that. A constitutional amendment cannot violate the Constitution, an amendment to the Constitution is absolute, it is a category that cannot be called into question. Therefore this is a dangerous moment and consequently this court can be abolished, we don’t need it”, President Milanović explained.

He underlined that the Constitutional Court’s ruling came as a surprise to him, and did not expect them to address this issue. “And a situation that is neutral, that is of no interest to anybody anymore. The citizens have decided – they want to amend the Constitution. The Constitution is supreme, above the Constitution is the will of citizens in a referendum and of a two-thirds majority of members of Parliament. The Constitution of the Republic of Croatia is no longer valid, the Constitutional Court has trampled on it, is destroying it. This has never happened before, this is a direct attack by the Constitutional Court on the Constitution!”, President Milanović said in concluding his statement.