For the first time after the signing of the Dayton Peace Agreement, the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina gave a mandate to the Chair of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Borjana Krišto – HDZ) against the will of one member, said a former member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina and SDA candidate for delegate in the House of Peoples of the BiH Parliamentary Assembly, Šefik Džaferović, in an interview with FENA.
This is a key competence of the BiH Presidency, which, as the collective head of state, is at the head of the executive power. This institution represents and symbolizes the sovereignty of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is why Džaferović believes that “we should look at the wider context of the situation in which Bosnia and Herzegovina finds itself and look for a solution that will represent the unique position of the Presidency as a collective head of state”.
“Instead, it was done only formally. Let’s be clear, the Rules of Procedure of the Presidency allow for such a decision, but I think that this was not a good move in this situation,” he added.
He says that Milorad Dodik, leader of the Alliance of Independent Social Democrats (SNSD), is no longer in the BiH Presidency, at least formally, and that the atmosphere he created with his inappropriate behavior no longer exists.
However, the same policy remained, the policy of unrealistic, extra-constitutional demands, blockade and blackmail carried out by his successor Željka Cvijanović, so essentially nothing has changed, Džaferović believes.
When asked how he views the process of government formation in this post-election period, Džaferović said that the complete process of implementing the election results began without a serious assessment of the state of the country.
He points out that granting the candidate status for membership in the European Union, the unblocked NATO path, bearing in mind the obligations that BiH needs to fulfill based on these integration processes, required the greatest possible degree of unity, especially of the pro-Bosnian forces.
He added that the regional, European and global environment and the position of BiH also dictated the establishment of such a bloc, which was supposed to be the backbone of the formation of a new government because in this way the interests of the country would be best protected and dignity preserved.
“Instead, due to the insatiable need for power, eight political parties from the pro-Bosnian political spectrum joined together, ignored everything described and decided to go to the feet of main brakemen from the previous mandate and ask for their help to participate in the government and to throw the SDA out of power. They, of course, got it,” says Džaferović.
However, he claims that this has its price and it refers to fulfilling the conditions of SNSD and HDZ because everything that these two parties could not achieve in the past term has now been promised to them because anyone who knows how to read the details in the agreements they signed and interpret the statements they made will conclude that way.
It is enough, he says, to compare the content of the statement signed by the leaders of the political parties in Brussels on June 12, 2022, the part that refers to the Electoral Law and the text of the signed agreements that refer to the same issue, and everything becomes clear but they agreed to create a false narrative about the cooperation and positive change of SNSD and HDZ.
When asked how he sees the balance of power within the House of Peoples of the BiH Parliamentary Assembly, especially because the SNSD will have four delegates in the Serb Caucus, Džaferović says that there is another “inconsistency of the Eight or now the Six, or maybe the Troika”.
“They said so much against SDA about the SNSD’s fourth delegate in the House of Peoples in the last mandate, and now they have given the SNSD the fourth mandate. They are trying to cover it up with transparent and unfounded excuses,” he said.
If HDZ also has four delegates, he adds, those two parties will have a majority of eight delegates and without them, it will not be possible to make a single decision in the House of Peoples. In addition, the four delegates from the BiH entity Republika Srpska are a tool in the hands of one political party that can legally block all decisions by that political party alone.
If the new coalition forms the government at the state level, Džaferović does not expect a better passability of legal solutions than was the case in the previous mandate, because the previous parliamentary majority was much more flexible and still there were many problems.
Džaferović also commented on the information that the High Representative in BiH, Christian Schmidt, could impose changes to the Constitution of the Federation of BiH, saying that he is an opponent of such an approach for the simple reason that the election rules must not be changed after the election process begins.
“If the High Representative were to impose something at this moment, and it concerns the implementation of election results from the past election process, then it would make democracy and the elections themselves meaningless, and who knows where it would take us,” he said.
Instead, he believes that the High Representative should insist that political entities that meet the specific type of majority required for the formation of FBiH government, form that government.
In this particular case, this would mean that the coalition can be made up of those political parties that can propose the leadership in the FBiH House of Peoples and the parliamentary majority in the House of Representatives because in that part SDA can not be excluded since the SDA with the Democratic Front (DF) is the only one that can propose the President/Vice President of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina confirming the Government of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
He points out that it is necessary to find a mode by which the FBiH Government will be formed, in which those political parties that can nominate the President/Vice President of the Federation and that have a parliamentary majority in the House of Representatives of the FBiH Parliament will participate, and this is inevitable, says the SDA.
He also referred to this year’s celebration of the unconstitutional day of the RS, emphasizing that it is incredible that there was no reaction from the institutions responsible for preventing the commission of criminal acts and their prosecution, primarily law enforcement agencies and the Prosecutor’s Office.
”It is unbelievable how low people can fall and ignore all possible truths in the power struggle. This is already the first consequence of the false narrative from the present that I was talking about. Are the protagonists of false narratives aware of where the philosophy and logic of false narratives are leading us,” asked Džaferović.
For the international community, he says that it is pragmatic in this sense because they need to preserve peace and stability and they tend not to react adequately to an obvious criminal act, and in addition, says Džaferović, they tend to comply with some demands of the SNSD and HDZ-a, thinking that it would satisfy them that way.
He emphasized that order should be restored by insisting on consistent compliance with the rules of all actors and using the available instruments against anyone who does not respect the rules, but says that in general, he is worried about this attitude of the international community, at least the part where it has power.
“The weakness of the international community or its calculating attitude emboldens the anti-Bosnian forces, which is why it is possible that, for example, Dodik distinguishes Russian President Vladimir Putin amid Russian aggression against Ukraine, without any consequences. Pro-Bosnian political forces should also be aware of this,” he underlined.
As the former member of the BiH Presidency Šefik Džaferović concluded, the greatest possible degree of unity of those who feel this country is theirs is the starting point in protecting the interests of the country, and only after that, the international community comes because it was like that in the past, and it will be so in the future.