The United States (U.S.) representative for the reform of the Election Law in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), Matthew Palmer, who is coming to BiH again, pointed out in an interview with Radio Free Europe (RFE) that he expects difficult negotiations.
”Political leaders will fight for their sides, that is what they are doing. We are here to encourage the whole process, to facilitate compromise, to help identify areas where there are disagreements and differences that they need to overcome, ” noted Palmer, among other things.
All parties in BiH would like a system
Mr. Palmer, when you were in Sarajevo in October, you mentioned that the reform of the Election Law of BiH requires a balance between the interests of different actors, in order to implement the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg according to the mantra “one state, two entities, and three constituent peoples.”
How to find that balance when there are completely opposing views of the parties in BiH. Or have opinions changed, only the public is still not informed about it?
”I think it is imprecise to describe the positions of parties and participants in BiH as fundamentally opposed. There are some points around which they agree, points of togetherness, which are important and which we must recognize. I believe that all participants support the European aspirations of BiH. BiH is the future of Europe and European integration.”
An effective initiative
The two sides in the negotiations, especially the SDA and HDZ BiH, have different views on your intentions when it comes to the election process. Bakir Izetbegovic stated that he had the impression that the solution would harm the interests of Bosniaks and pro-Bosnian parties, while Dragan Covic claims that the most important thing for him is a legitimate representation in the House of Peoples and the BiH Presidency. Is it possible for Covic and HDZ BiH to get two constituencies in the FBiH, and are Mr. Izetbegovic’s fears justified?
It is not just a discussion between the SDA and the HDZ BiH, an exchange of views between Mr. Izetbegovic and Mr. Covic, it is more complicated than that. In any case, we paid attention to what Dragan Covic and HDZ BiH identified as their priorities and borders that will not be crossed. Also, we listened equally carefully to Mr. Izetbegovic and SDA representatives as they presented their position.
I can’t tell you exactly what it will look like because it’s not up to me. It depends on the parties themselves, who should negotiate compromises, and reach an agreement with our support, help, and encouragement, but there is no special plan that I will put on the table and say “this is the U.S. plan, and we want you to agree with it.”