Bosnia and Herzegovina, almost a year after General Elections has yet to form the most important institutions for the functioning of the country, as political leaders on a daily basis are trying to pull the flag on the rope to their side.
The brand new Party of the Democratic Action (biggest Bosniak party in BiH) declaration about principles for the future actions, just made the gap between political actors in the state a step bigger than it was before. In the document, SDA says that the long term goals of the party are “the creation of a democratic, regionalised, lawful and social state under the name of ‘Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina’, which should have state, regional and local governments”.
“In the first phase of the constitutional reforms we will support amendments to the current Constitution which ensure its harmonisation of with the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, the establishment of a Supreme Court as an institution which would guarantee equal standards for all citizens, ensure that the state has the competencies in issues which are conditions for Bosnia joining NATO and the European Union, the efficient functioning of BiH institutions and the elimination of blockades in its decision-making process”, the Declaration says.
Along with the establishment of a ‘Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina’, the party will work on the affirmation of a ‘Bosnian language’ as the ‘common identity of all of Bosnia’s citizens’.
“Today too, retrograde forces are trying in peace to achieve the goals they could not achieve in war. As the role of the international community is fading, those forces are becoming louder with their requests for more territories and more ethnic divisions… We will never allow any divisions but we will persist on the annulment of the existing ones. We will work towards the strengthening of the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina and we will oppose any devastation of state institutions”, the Declaration says, adding that the budget for sustainable return will be increased, as this is the best way for the country to be patched back together.
But, it seems that SDA conveniently forgot that the unified “Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina” with “Bosnian language” was one of the Bosniak goals during the war which means that it is trying to achieve “the goals they could not achieve in war”. The declaration calls for the constitutional changes that would abolish entities and constitutional nations (Bosniaks, Serbs and Croats). According to analysts, it is no surprise as the results of the census (the first and last one performed in BiH after the war) said that Bosniaks are about 51 per cent of the citizens.
The Serb side, led by Alliance of the Independent Social Democrats and its president Milorad Dodik, who advocates the Republika Srpska separation from BiH and the establishment of this entity as an independent state, sharply refused the Declaration, naming it as “the call for open war against Republika Srpska”. The biggest Croat party, Croatian Democratic Union BiH, as well as other Croatian parties, also condemned the Declaration saying that they will never abandon their national identity.
Surprisingly, the Office of the High Representative in BiH (OHR) issued a mild reaction, saying that the Constitution can be changed with the consent of a number of institutions.
“Bosnia and Herzegovina is not a state union, its two entities legally exist only on the grounds of the Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Every change of internal organisation of Bosnia and Herzegovina must be adopted in line with the procedures foreseen by the Constitution, which requires broad support within the political spectrum of Bosnia and Herzegovina including all constituent peoples”, the OHR said.
Serb and Croat leaders commented that reaction is mild when Bosniaks mention changes of the internal borders and organization, but very sharp when Serbs and Croats mention the same thing.
It would be for the best if some in the state abandoned their “war goals” and focused their efforts in leading the citizens to a better future./ibna