The Croatian Sabor (parliament) appointed on Nov. 16 the vice-president of the Croatian Democratic Union, Ivan Anusic, as new defense minister and deputy prime minister.
In favor of his appointment were 77 of the total of 151 members of parliament, while 55 were against. Ivan Anusic, 50, who was the chief of the Osijek and Baranja District until this appointment, succeeded Mario Banozic who was dismissed from office for causing a traffic accident in which one person was killed.
The police have pressed criminal charges against the former defense minister for causing an accident with a fatal outcome. According to a statement, the accident took place on a state highway, at the exit from Vinkovci towards Zupanja, when Banozic attempted to overtake a cargo vehicle in his passenger car, without first making sure that he can do so safely, while a van was coming from the opposite direction.
It is unclear if the minister was driving under the influence of alcohol at the moment of the accident, which took place early in the morning, because the prosecution claimed that he was not, while the laboratory test that the media have published showed that the alcohol level in his blood was 0.21 pro mille. The permitted level of alcohol for drivers in Croatia is 0.5 pro mille.