The pre-election campaign, even though the elections are only three months away, is noticeable through the increasingly frequent meetings of religious and political leaders, as well as through the comments on daily political events made by religious leaders.
According to the 2013 population census, more than 96 percent of the population declared that they belonged to one of the three largest religious communities. Religious communities and officials enjoy a great reputation in society and have access to a huge number of potential voters, which makes them very desirable to political leaders.
Milorad Dodik (SNSD) was present at the opening of the gas station together with seven Orthodox priests, and as usual, he also sang. In mid-July, Dodik also held a meeting with Patriarch Porfiri and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, where it was talked about the situation in Kosovo and “problems facing the Serbian people in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH).”
Dodik showed his friendly relations with Patriarch Porfiri in the middle of June when he met him at the distillery in Laktasi where they tasted wines together.
How seriously Dodik counts on the support of religious communities is also shown by his announcement that all religious officials will receive their salaries from the budget of the Republika Srpska (RS) entity.
Archbishop Tomo Vuksic of Vrhbosna said at the Fifth Croatian Expatriate Congress held in Mostar on July 1st, among other things, that Croats are frustrated by the unjust internal division of the state, and he also commented on the electoral law.
”Croats are frustrated by the unfair internal division of the state, whose administrative structure in both entities is to their detriment, then the unresolved national issue and the fact that the voting will of the individual and the people is devalued by the electoral law,” said Archbishop Vuksic.
Fra Ivo Markovic and Reisu-l-Ulema Husein ef. Kavazovic has in recent days entered into a public debate regarding the election of Zeljko Komsic to the Presidency of BiH. Fra Markovic accused the Islamic Community in BiH of directly agitating to vote for Komsic, to which Reisu-l-Ulema responded by denying the allegations and saying that Fra Markovic’s views were the same as those promoted by HDZ.
In the Eid sermon, Reisu-l-Ulema Kavazovic said “every government is obliged to respect public morality. Otherwise, we are not obliged to respect such government, nor the decisions it makes.”
At the “Days of Bosnian Spirituality – Karici 2022” event, Reisu-l-Ulema Kavazovic reflected on the reactions to the controversial statement about the “counting of Bosniaks” made earlier by SDA leader Bakir Izetbegovic.
”These days I hear voices saying that they are counting us. I want to tell you quite frankly here. If we hadn’t been counted when we should have been counted, we wouldn’t be here today. This place would be in someone else’s hands. Of course, we will count ourselves. We want to do it for the sake of our children,” Reisu-l-Ulema Kavazovic said.
That the situation is heated is also shown by the reaction of the People and Justice party, which wrote in an open letter to Reisu-l-Ulema Kavazovic that in his statements he alludes to support for one party and one candidate and that in this way they call into question their credibility and the institutions of the Islamic Community in BiH.
The Islamic community responded to these accusations that they perceive them as an attempt to discipline and that until now only the HDZ has done this. They also said that the Islamic community will not go to People and Justice for its opinion.
Religious leaders, like all other citizens of BiH, have the right to publicly express their political opinion and political views, but their behavior due to the function they have in society should be responsible for the purpose of calming tensions and recommending a responsible campaign.
Also, by descending into the filth of low passions, religious communities lose part of the “sacred” aura that offers them some protection from public criticism. By directly and indirectly participating in political campaigns, they lose their position as a neutral mediator, which can ultimately lead to the alienation of members of religious communities who are not on the same political line as the religious leadership, Klix.ba writes.