The members of the BiH Presidency in the next term, as of Tuesday November 20, are officially Milorad Dodik, who will represent the Serb people, Željko Komšić, representative of the Croats, and Šefik Džaferović from the Bosniak people.
The constituent session of the newly elected BiH Presidency, was opened by Bakir Izetbegović, the chairman of the previous convocation. Another old member, Mladen Ivanić, attended the ceremony but third member, Dragan Čović, did not come to Sarajevo. Izetbegović thanked his colleagues Ivanić and Čović for the fruitful cooperation they had in the past four years.
He emphasized that during the four years in the Presidency, they made a lot of important decisions.
“Among other things, thanks to above all our engagement, after years of stagnation, the Euro-Atlantic path of BiH was unblocked. Today, we are close to gain the status of a candidate for EU membership and activation of the NATO Membership Action Plan…Together, with the consensus, we adopted more than 2,000 decisions. It is true that we did not make some of the decisions that we were supposed to make, and in some cases, we had different views on some important issues. Unfortunately, these are the few cases that are talked about more than anything that we jointly did successfully for the benefit of the citizens of this country”, Izetbegović said.
After Izetbegović’s address, the President of the BiH Central Election Commission, Branko Petrić, handed over the certificates on the takeover of the mandate to the newly elected members, which then read and signed a solemn declaration.
First Chairman of the BiH Presidency will be Milorad Dodik. Members of the Presidency of BiH, as Chairman of the Presidency, change every eight months according to the principle of rotation.
In his address to ceremony participants, Dodik said that his base is Republika Srpska but that he has no intentions to harm other two constituent nations in BiH.
“I want to cooperate with my colleagues and to prove that this cooperation can be effective. A long time ago, we created distance, from the time in which we had conflicts, this is a serious opportunity to make a step forward and make a democratic society. My policy will be based on respecting the Constitution, according to the Dayton Peace Agreement”, Dodik said.
He repeated that his intention is to shut down the Office of the High Representative in BiH and that he will, with other Presidency members, on the first official session ask the European Union to give the candidate status to BiH.
Komšić said that there is no responsibility to the state if there is tolerance of crime, corruption and insecurity of the citizens.
“We have to look into the future. BiH’s future is membership in NATO and the EU. These are the guarantors of the security of our citizens. BiH should not be an object, but a subject of international relations, and therefore cooperation with Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia and Slovenia should be strengthened. Priority is also the strengthening of our economic position and the fight against foreign influence in the electoral process”, Komšić said.
Džaferović urged his colleagues in the BiH Presidency to take care of the words spoken in public, since all problems begin with them.
“This creates a spiral of a bad atmosphere in which it is difficult to work. If we treat each other with respect, even if we have different views, if we are to lead a civilized dialogue, if we strive for an agreement on key issues, and we will strive for the truth and justice, then we will be able to work genuinely on the reintegration of the country. That implies equal rights for every citizen and the realization of the interests of Bosnia and Herzegovina. We can stop the people from leaving the state if we make BiH the country just like EU countries. BiH stands before gaining a status of EU membership, this must be a priority”, Džaferović said.
In the October general elections, the highest number of votes for the BiH Presidency member from the Bosniak people was won by Šefik Džaferović – 212,581 votes or 36.61 per cent, by the Croatian people Željko Komšić – 225,500 votes or 52.64 per cent, while Milorad Dodik won the most votes for a member of the state Presidency from the Serbian people – 368,210 votes or 53.88 percent./ΙΒΝΑ