Zagreb - The eighth, 151-member Croatian Parliament was inaugurated on Monday following the November 8 election, and Željko Reiner of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) was appointed Speaker of Parliament.
Reiner was the sole candidate for the post, put forward by 79 MPs. He received support from 88 lawmakers, 62 abstained from the vote, while one voted against.
Newly-appointed Speaker of Parliament addressing an inaugural session of the Sabor, underlined its role in the past and in the present time.- It must not be forgotten that the Sabor is not only a guardian of democratic values and the highest expression of the people's democratic will but an institution of crucial importance for the preservation of the Croatian national identity and national interests, Reiner said.
He said an important role of the parliament was "to protect others and those who are different, notably those who are in the minority and are thus more vulnerable, and to guarantee their rights."
It is the obligation of all members of Parliament to make the Parliament a place of dialogue where elected representatives of Croatian citizens will be deeply aware of their responsibility to citizens who elected them and work continually for citizens' better life, greater freedoms and better future, their happiness and the happiness of their children and grandchildren, said Reiner, expressing gratitude to his predecessor Josip Leko of the Social Democratic Party for chairing the parliament so far.
He said that one of the main goals was for the Croatian society to overcome a deep economic crisis as well as an even deeper social and moral crisis and a crisis of values.
After the appointment of the new parliament speaker, elected MPs took oath, and at the end of inaugural session Reiner said that the eighth parliament would soon hold its first working meeting, most probably after 15 January when the regular sitting of the national legislature commences. (Hina)