By Medina Malagić – Sarajevo
In the two-day protest that took place outside of the BiH Parliament in Sarajevo, citizens from throughout BiH formed a human chain to prevent parliamentarians and delegates from exiting until they reached a law on the unique master citizen number.
Protests were organized throughout BiH in cities such as Banja Luka, Mostar, Tuzla and Zenica, where people came out on the streets to voice their growing discontentment with the inefficiency of their government and to voice strong support for the protests in Sarajevo.
The protests ended this morning at around 4:00. The blockade of the BiH Parliament formed by the human chain officially ended and people were able to exit the building.
Despite the end of the protests and the lack of an adoption of a law on the unique master citizen number, BiH analysts were prompt to point out the possible long-term impacts of the level of support and solidarity induced by such protests in BIH and what they managed to clearly demonstrate and achieve.
BiH political analyst Enver Kazaz refers to the building of this BiH institution a ‘vampire’; since the politicians go to work there every day without being held accountable for the citizens of BIH. However, the events that took place in Sarajevo over the course of the past two days have been extraordinary, and that despite the gross inefficiency of this BiH institution, an important result was achieved.
“This could mean an introduction in the awakening of citizen awareness a realization of the model of direct democracy. If this were their result, then this would signify a turning point in the healing of this society, and is one of the most important phenomenon in our society in the last period”, said political analyst Enver Kazaz.
This assessment by Enver Kazaz was echoed through BiH over these past few days, and showed that BiH citizens are beginning to raise a more vociferous and united voice against the inability of their politicians to do their jobs.
This is an issue that impacts all citizens of BiH, regardless of religion and ethnic background, and the fact that mothers brought their children in strollers to the protests to voice their concern was a powerful symbol that reverberated throughout BiH. Thus, the immediate response of several parliamentarians to this protest that carried with it divisive nationalist overtones did not produce the desired outcome. A father of two children took the lead in organizing a protest in Banja Luka to lend support to his fellow citizens in Sarajevo.
This ‘important phenomenon in BiH society’, as Kazaz labels it, is one which sparked an unseen level of numbers out on the streets and BiH citizen solidarity could very well indicate the start of something new.