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ZAGREB (Croatia), July 10 (SeeNews) - Croatia's prime minister Andrej Plenkovic said he is aiming to improve the work of his cabinet by way of a government reshuffle ahead of the country's upcoming presidency of the Council of the EU in the first half of 2020.
"Today I received the support of the members of the presidency and national committee [of the governing Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) party] to undertake, in accordance with my assessment, what I believe is needed for refreshment of the government, a kind of government reconstruction," Plenkovic told a televised news conference late on Tuesday.
His statement broadcast by N1 TV platform came a day after the country's public administration minister Lovro Kuscevic submitted his resignation following allegations that he had illegitimately enriched himself during his term as mayor in the past.
Plenkovic provided neither details nor a timeframe for the planned reshuffle but said that it would aim to enable the government to continue implementing its programme in a more ambitious way, to prepare the country for its upcoming EU presidency and to strengthen HDZ's position in the pending presidential elections where the party will give a strong support to incumbent head of state Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic.
Grabar-Kitarovic has not yet officially announced her decision to run in the elections, yet recent public opinion polls have indicated she is the favourite to win the vote expected to take place in December 2019 or January 2020.
Concerning the resignation of Kuscevic, it was accepted by Plenkovic on Monday after in the past days both opposition Social Democratic Party (SDP) and some of HDZ's junior partners in Croatia's coalition government had been demanding it, alleging that Kuscevic has abused his powers as mayor of Nerezisca, a municipality on the Brac island, to profit from suspicious real estate deals.
Kuscevic has denied wrongdoing.