Croatian PM: Croatia will not let go of Bosnia’s Presidency issue

NEWS 08.12.2018 17:05
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Source: N1

Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said Saturday he will not stop demanding that Croats in Bosnia elect their own representatives to the country’s tripartite Presidency and called three former international administrators of Bosnia who accused his county of meddling in its internal affairs “retirees.”

Paddy Ashdown, Christian Schwarz-Schilling and Carl Bildt expressed concern over Croatia’s claim that the newly elected Croat member of Bosnia’s tripartite Presidency, left-leaning Zeljko Komsic, is not a legitimate representative of the ethnic group because he won thanks to Bosniak votes, while the numerically inferior Croats in Bosnia had voted for another candidate to represent them.

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The three said that Zagreb’s lobbying in Brussels for Bosnia to be forced to change its election law represents meddling in Bosnia’s internal affairs.

“Croatia’s politics, I as the head of the Government, as well as all parties, have strongly and clearly, never more firmly, said what is true and what is not good,” he said, adding that “Croatia’s politics will, in the foreign-policy sense, not let go of this issue.”

“Believe me, nobody knows Bosnia and Herzegovina better than we do, nobody is a better friend to Bosnia than we are, nobody is a bigger ally to Bosnia than us, and nobody helped Bosnia more in applying for membership in 2016,” he stressed.

The leader of the Croat Democratic Union in Bosnia, HDZ, Dragan Covic, was favoured by Croatia but lost his bid for being re-elected as Bosnian Croat member of Bosnia’s Presidency to left-leaning Zeljko Komsic.

Both Covic and Zagreb claim Komsic was not a legitimate representative of Bosnian Croats as he won thanks to votes from Bosniaks.

“Having in mind we know it so well and that we signed Dayton, we are obliged to care for Croats in Bosnia, and we are here to give their position a voice,” he said.

Betraying the spirit of the Dayton Peace Agreement by allowing that just numbers elect a Presidency member in Bosnia is “not healthy and good for democracy in Bosnia and Herzegovina,” he said.

The PM said that nobody ever thought that Bosniaks would be electing two Presidency members when the Dayton Agreement was being negotiated and that such an arrangement “does not make sense.”

“I will personally not let go of that issue,” he said.

“The fact that those three retirees made statements means that our engagement and our actions were so strong that they felt the urge to say something,” he said, referring to the three ex High Representatives and to Croatia’s lobbying in Brussels.

“Everything we do, we do in good faith,” he concluded.