|21st Speaker of the Croatian Parliament|
14 October 2016 – 5 May 2017
|Preceded by||Željko Reiner|
|Succeeded by||Gordan Jandroković|
|Deputy Prime Minister of Croatia|
22 January 2016 – 14 October 2016
|Prime Minister||Tihomir Orešković|
|Mayor of Metković|
2 June 2013 – 22 January 2016
|Preceded by||Stipo Gabrić|
|Succeeded by||Katarina Ujdur|
16 October 1979|
Metković, SR Croatia, SFR Yugoslavia
|Political party||Bridge of Independent Lists|
|Alma mater||University of Mostar|
Božo Petrov (Croatian pronunciation: [ˌbǒːʒo ˈpětroʋ]; born 16 October 1979) is a Croatian politician and psychiatrist who served as the 11th Speaker of the Croatian Parliament since independence, and the 21st Speaker overall, from 14 October 2016 until 4 May 2017. Petrov previously served as the Mayor of Metković and a Deputy Prime Minister in the Cabinet of Tihomir Orešković from 22 January 2016 until his election as Speaker in October 2016. Since 2012 he is the president of the Bridge of Independent Lists party. Petrov resigned his position as Speaker on 4 May 2017, amidst a government and parliamentary crisis. Having held the office for a little over six months Petrov is to date the shortest serving Speaker of Parliament since 1991.
Early life and family
Petrov was born in Metković on October 16, 1979 to locksmith Jakov Petrov and Marija Petrov, a bookkeeper. He has an elder sister, Nikolina, and two younger brothers, Branimir and Ivan. Petrov attended elementary school in his hometown and high school (classical (Christian) gymnasium) in Sinj. At age 14 he decided to join the Franciscan order, but eventually changed his mind.
Petrov graduated from the Medical Faculty of the University of Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and specialized psychiatry in the Psychiatric Hospital Vrapče in Zagreb, after which he worked as a psychiatrist at the University Clinical Hospital in Mostar. He is married to Maša Petrov, a primary school teacher with whom he has three children.
Petrov began his political career as an independent candidate in the 2011 parliamentary election on the list of the conservative Croatian Growth (Hrast) party. He eventually ended his collaboration with Hrast because "they betrayed its members and sided with the HDZ", which he didn't approve.
In 2013, the Bridge of Independent Lists participated in the local elections in the town of Metković. The party won 46.25% of votes, and 9 out of 17 seats in the City Council. Božo Petrov won 45.78% of the votes and entered the second round of elections for the Mayor against Stipe Gabrić Jambo, incumbent mayor since 1997. In the second round Petrov won with 67.94% of the votes and became the mayor of Metković. At the same election, Bridge of Independent Lists won 9.97% of the vote in county elections and entered the County Assembly of the Dubrovnik-Neretva County.
As mayor, Petrov cut his and the city councillors' wage to the minimum. Finding a city debt of 17.6 million, he managed to bring it down by 6.4 million, or 36%. His deputies work as volunteers, while the councillors' fees amount to a symbolic 1 HRK. Petrov abolished also the compensation to the members of supervisory boards and management councils, and representation expenses decreased by 10 times and travel costs by 8 times. He also terminated several expensive public contracts, and introduced transparency in public spending. His work to sanitize the city's budget got him to be declared the best mayor in the region. After having halved the city debt, he increased the salaries of the city administration, but they remained 30% lower than they were at the time he took office as mayor.
2015 Parliament election
For the 2015 parliamentary election, Petrov's Most party went national and was joined by independent local politicians from other parts of the country. Led by Petrov, the party campaigned for fiscal responsibility, reduction of government spending and public debt, tax cuts, reforms in the public sector and the reduction of administrative divisions in Croatia.
Petrov's party turned out the surprise of the election, with 13.17% of the votes and 19 seats in the Croatian Parliament (Sabor). The party had a crucial role in forming the new government and started negotiations with the ruling centre-left Croatia is Growing coalition, centred around the Social Democratic Party of Croatia (SDP), and the opposition centre-right Patriotic Coalition, centred around the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ). Members of the party said that they won’t join any of the two coalitions in forming the new government unless their reform agenda is adopted. After more than 40 days of negotiations and numerous twists, Most decided to give its support to a government led by the HDZ, giving them a slim majority of 78 seats. They nominated the Croatian-Canadian businessman Tihomir Orešković to be the next Prime Minister.
Deputy Prime Minister (2016)
In February, the Most party prepared amendments for reducing benefits of members of parliament, but the bill was stopped and didn't reach voting in the Sabor. The party accused HDZ and SDP for blocking the bill.
In March, Petrov and his party announced amendments to the law regulating the rights of former presidents of Croatia that would rescind the Office of the Former President. This move revoked the entitlements of former president Stjepan Mesić, who criticised the move, and saved around 600,000 HRK to the government budget. In the same month, Petrov started negotiations with labour union representatives over a 6 percent wage increase for public sector workers, as GDP grew over 2% for two consecutive quarters. The wage rise was signed in 2009 by the Government of Ivo Sanader with labour unions. The government had not planned funds for the wage increase in the 2016 budget and wanted to negotiate new terms of the contract, as there was no money for its implementation.
Relations between Most and the Patriotic Coalition have long been strained and continued to deteriorate in May. Members of HDZ started talking about reshuffling the government. After it was revealed that the wife of Tomislav Karamarko had business with the consultant of Hungarian oil company MOL, Petrov and his party called for Karamarko to resign due to political responsibility. A vote of no confidence was started by SDP in the Sabor, which was backed by ministers and MPs from the Most party. After Karamarko refused to step down, Petrov said that he and ministers from his party are ready to resign if Karamarko remained in the government, adding that "an individual should never be above the state". On 3 June, in an attempt at a compromise solution, Prime Minister Tihomir Orešković called on Petrov and Karamarko to resign for the sake of stability of the country. Orešković said that their relations have become a burden for the government. Petrov responded that he is ready to step down if it will help stabilise the situation in the country, while Karamarko refused to resign and stressed out that Orešković no longer has the support of HDZ. A vote of no confidence in the Prime Minister was initiated by HDZ. Petrov's party continued to support Orešković and asked for the resignation of Karamarko. On 16 June the confidence vote took place in the Parliament that resulted in the fall of Orešković's government by a vote of 125 MPs in favour, 15 against and 2 abstentions. Both HDZ and most of the opposition voted in favour, while the Bridge of Independent Lists voted against.
Speaker of Parliament (2016–2017)
Petrov was elected as the 11th Speaker of the Croatian Parliament on 14 October 2016 with 132 Members of Parliament voting in favor, 1 against and 12 abstaining. Having taken office two days before his 37th birthday, Petrov became the youngest person ever to hold the position of speaker. As per a post-election agreement between Petrov's Bridge of Independent Lists (Most) party and the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) led by Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, Petrov was due to serve as Speaker for a 2-year period and would thereafter have been replaced by a Speaker from the HDZ, presumably the party's general secretary and former Foreign Minister Gordan Jandroković. Petrov resigned from office on 4 May 2017 amidst a government crisis which began on 27 April 2017 when Prime Minister Andrej Plenković removed three government ministers supported by Petrov's Most party and escalated further to a point where Plenković's Croatian Democratic Union began to gather signatures for Petrov's removal from office via no confidence vote. Croatian Parliament formally dismissed him from his position as Speaker on 5 May 2017. Petrov remains a Member of Parliament. He was succeeded as Speaker by the former Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Gordan Jandroković on 5 May 2017.
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- Milan Šutalo (14 February 2014). "Božo Petrov – hrvatski političar za kakvim vape u BiH" [Božo Petrov - a Croatian politician which BiH needs]. Deutsche Welle. Retrieved 29 August 2015.
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- "Privremeni Neslužbeni Rezultati Izbora Za Županijsku Skupštinu". Izbori.hr. 2013-05-20. Retrieved 2015-11-29.
- Hrvoje Prnjak: Petrov stvara koaliciju nezavisnih: Mogu biti premijer, ali ću predložiti drugoga. Slobodna Dalmacija, 2. veljače 2015. Pristupljeno 2. veljače 2015.
- "Newcomer Set For Key Role After Croatian Election". balkaninsight.com. Retrieved 6 November 2015.
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- "Local Mayor Becomes Croatia's New Political Star". balkaninsight.com. 11 November 2015.
- "Croatia Independent Alliance Sets Coalition Terms". balkaninsight.com. 10 November 2015.
- "Tihomir Orešković to Be Named as Croatian Prime Minister-Designate". Total Croatia News. 23 December 2015.
- "Kanadski državljanin s prebivalištem u Nizozemskoj: Tko je Tihomir Tim Orešković? - Vijesti". Index.hr (in Croatian). 2015-12-19. Retrieved 2015-12-23.
- "Croatian parliament approves new centre-right cabinet, focus on economy". Reuters. 22 January 2016.
- "Prime Minister Orešković and His Croatian Government Take Power". Total Croatia News. 23 January 2016.
- "Croatian parliament approves new government". China Xinhua News. 23 January 2016.
- "Bridge says HDZ, SDP stop amendment of MP benefits' law". eblnews. 19 February 2016.
- "Deputy PM Petrov announces cuts for former president's office". eblnews. 16 March 2016.
- "Petrov hopes win-win situation can be brokered with unions". eblnews. 21 March 2016.
- "Is Further Cooperation between HDZ and MOST Possible?". Total Croatia News. 8 May 2016.
- "Croatian government rejects no-confidence vote against deputy PM". Reuters. 27 May 2016.
- "Petrov to Karamarko: Resign by Friday, or MOST Will Vote against You". Total Croatia News. 26 May 2016.
- "Petrov prepared to stand down as Deputy PM". eblnews. 30 May 2016.
- "Petrov ready to resign if that will help stabilise country". eblnews. 3 June 2016.
- "Karamarko: I'm not resigning, Oreskovic no longer enjoys HDZ's trust". eblnews. 3 June 2016.
- "MOST: We Support Prime Minister Orešković, HDZ Should Show Us Its "Majority"". Total Croatia News. 9 June 2016.
- "Prime Minister Orešković: I Will Not Resign, I Will Defend Myself in Parliament". Total Croatia News. 10 June 2016.
- "Croatia government falls as PM loses no-confidence vote". Al Jazeera. 16 June 2016.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Božo Petrov.|
|Party political offices|
| Leader of the Bridge of Independent Lists
| Deputy Prime Minister of Croatia