A number of citizens of the southern Bosnian city of Mostar took to the streets on Thursday protesting the election of Zeljko Komsic for member of Bosnia’s Presidency from among the Croat people. The protesters are dissatisfied that the leader from the main Croat party in Bosnia, the Croat Democratic Union (HDZ BiH), Dragan Covic, lost to Komsic.
The protest organizers are the "Croat Youth" organisation who called on all citizens to gather around the Mostar University and walk to the Office of the Bosnian Presidency member from among the Croat people in Mostar, where they said they would "light candles and express their dissatisfaction with the general election result."
Bosnia’s Presidency consists of three members, each coming from three constituent peoples in the country: Bosniaks, Serbs and Croats. After the recent general election in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the new members are Zeljko Komsic, Sefik Dzaferovic from among the Bosniak people and Milorad Dodik, from among the Serb people.
However, Komsic's legitimacy is contested by all the major Croat parties in the country saying that his election was not legitimate because he was not elected by Croats, but by Bosniaks.
Regardless of these claims, Komsic’s election is, indeed, legal, Constitutional and legitimate, because the state Constitution stipulates that Presidency consists of one Bosniak, one Croat and one Serb member. There is no mention of what ethnic group must vote for what candidate.
The protest organizers who announced the protest gathering for Thursday at 6 pm said that Komsic is not their legitimate representative and that they are dissatisfied with the fact that Bosnia’s Election Law was not amended. According to them, it is wrong that the dominant people in the country (Bosniaks) can elect the presidency member from among the Croat people.
On the other hand, the newly elected Presidency member, Zeljko Komsic, said he is the new Presidency member from among the Croat people, but that he is the representative of all Bosnian citizens, not just Bosnian Croats.
The protest gathering will focus around the Office building of the Presidency member from among the Croat people which was, in fact, opened by Dragan Covic. Komsic said he would close the Presidency office after he wins the election and that he would make the building available to Mostar students to use for their studying needs.