Federation of BiH President Marinko Cavara’s August 10 statement regarding his failure to nominate judges to the Federation Constitutional Court was not only personally irresponsible but demonstrates a broader problem – that the political leaders of this country have abandoned their duties to BiH citizens. Cavara pointed to the lack of political consensus for why he has not executed his constitutional obligations, but what steps did he and his colleagues take during their eight years in power to resolve this lack of consensus? What compromises did they make to build understanding and alleviate tensions?
While we welcome President Cavara’s commitment today to do his job and appoint four judges to the FBiH Constitutional Court, we found the tone of his letter to the High Representative arrogant and his presentation of facts one-sided in the extreme. It ignores entirely the behavior of HDZ BiH, which has done much to sabotage FBiH institutions to pursue its own narrow interests and has abused the checks and balances contained in the FBiH constitution.
BiH requires functional institutions at the state and entity levels if it is going to make progress towards Euro-Atlantic integration. Without stability, positive change and reform are impossible. This requires maintaining the balance between BiH’s two entities, and between its three constituent peoples and Others. Instead, political leaders have used those institutions to undermine that balance or to break the institutions altogether. Unfortunately, political leaders continue to refuse to resolve the long-standing institutional issues of BiH. The current toxic political culture is dangerous, and unless this changes, BiH will lack the stability required for the people of this country to enjoy the peace and prosperity they deserve.