Zagreb - The parliamentary majority on Wednesday appointed Robert Šveb the new director-general of the HRT public broadcaster, while the opposition Bridge party would not participate in the vote and walked out of the session.
Of 132 MPs attending the session, 77 voted for Šveb's appointment while 55 were against.
Šveb was supported by the three deputies of the Independent Democratic Serb Party (SDSS), which is part of the parliamentary majority and whose leader Milorad Pupovac said on Tuesday that the SDSS could not give anyone a blank check.
Our support to Šveb is conditional, until the first report on the financing and realisation of HRT programmes, Pupovac said on Wednesday.
Opposition MPs who attended the session voted against Šveb's appointment, reiterating until the very vote that he was a personification of conflict of interest, was chosen in a contaminated procedure and that his appointment was a farce because he was the favourite of Culture and Media Minister Nina Obuljen Koržinek and was, therefore, her responsibility.
"The Bridge will walk out, we call on the others to do the same, we do not want to wallow in a mire of conflict of interest and corruption," MP Nino Raspudić said, after which the Bridge deputies walked out but were not joined by other opposition MPs.
The parliamentary majority, notably the ruling HDZ party, dismissed the Opposition's criticisms, saying that Šveb was the best of all candidates who had applied for the post and were interviewed by the parliament's Media Committee.
Mario Kapulica, an HDZ MP, said that Šveb had 20 years of work experience and knew how to organise a multimedia company, secure better working conditions for the employees, and make the public service better.
Šveb holds a university degree in electrical engineering, he is well acquainted with the public broadcasting system, having started his career at the HRT, with which he later had business cooperation. He also has experience as an entrepreneur, both in Croatia and abroad.