Peace Implementation


Mostar protests against Komsic's election in Presidency

A number of Mostar citizens (southern Bosnia) took to the streets protesting the election of Zeljko Komsic for the 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.

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.

"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.

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.

he 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.

Source: N1



SARAJEVO, October 10 /SRNA/ - The president of the Main Council of the Croatian People’s Assembly, Bozo Ljubic, has said that the election of Zeljko Komsic /DF/ as the Croatian member of the BiH Presidency is neither constitutional nor legitimate and can be characterized only as “as a hostile act against Croats and political violence.”

“Komsic was elected as a member of the BiH Presidency for the third time regardless of the fact that the candidate of the Croatian People’s Assembly, Dragan Covic, won more than 80% of the votes of Croats,” Ljubic said in the Croatian Parliament.

He has said that the BiH Constitutional Court confirmed the right of every people to elect their legitimate representatives, and stressed that this “election is neither legitimate nor constitutional.”

Ljubic has said that it is obvious that it was Bosniaks who elected him, that is, that they “were instructed to vote both for the Bosniak and Croatian member of the BiH Presidency.”

“In order to prove this we don’t need any big analytics, a more subtle analyses of elections will show that Kosmic won the most votes in strongholds of the Bosniak SDA,” said Ljubic, who is a member of Parliament from the HDZ.

He has stressed that the election of Komsic for the third time must not be treated as personal issue, but as the issue of the Constitution, character and sustainability of BiH.

According to him, Komsic made use of that which political constellations in BiH and formal-legal regulations allowed him, and everything else was done as part of a well-thought-out Bosniak, or, more precisely, SDA project.

“Even though some would like to present this election as the election out of spite, if we take Bosniak mainstream politics since the Constitution and the Election Law were changed by imposed measures of high representatives, we can characterize this only as a hostile act against Croats and political violence, that is, an attempt to turn the Federation of BiH, which in Washington was founded as the Croatian-Bosniak Entity, into an entity dominated by Bosniaks,” Ljubic has said.

Ljubic has stressed that having in mind that the Constitutional Court voided certain regulations of the Election Law pertaining to the FBiH House of Representatives, it is questionable how it will be possible to form a government in the FBiH and at the level of BiH in a legitimate manner.




Director of the Center for Cultural Dialogue (CKD) from Sarajevo and wife of university professor Ugo Vlaisavljevic, Sanja Vlaisavljevic again became the victim of aggressive hate speech on social networks. She had experienced a whole set of insults into her account because of some harmless comment. Namely, Vlaisavljevic compared the official biography of two candidates for the Presidency of BiH: Dragana Covic and Željko Komšic on her Facebook profile.

After the conclusion, draw by itself - whose biography is "strengthen", Vlaisavljevic has become the target of insult, hate speech, death threats ...

From the social media, the whole story went down to the mainstream Sarajevo audience after the pro-bosniaks media gave her the epithet of "fascists". In addition to the Bosniak media who tried to justify the attacks on Mrs. Vlaisavljevic, explicit Bosniak hate speech was directed by certain Bosniak politicians on social networks. We talked about everything about Sanja Vlaisavljevic:

After reading your status, it is unclear why such outbreaks of hate being cited after someone's biography. How to explain it?

SANJA VLAISAVLJEVIĆ - First of all, there were only four glossy words in the controversial status: "know-nothing vs. the scientist" and "the militant vs. the nonmilitant". The remaining biographies of two politicians, two candidates for the Presidency member, Komšic and Covic, were taken over. However, those are just commentators, most people who are not my FB friends, attributed the term to one as fascist and to another one war hero. At one point I was told by a certain lady, saying that Covic took people out of the camp to forced labor, which I answered, although I do not know anything about it, that it is better than to take them to the camps, since today among us live and work high-ranking people who have directly participated in taking people into camps and forced labor. My comment was solely on Covic, who, long ago and especially these days, getting nothing but blames, just to get him discredited. After that, scary insults broke out: That I can go to my side with Nazis, that I am a fascist, a chauvinist, that I have to get caught in the camp, that I should be driven away, that I am a bitch, that I hate, being a mercenary, and so on to the open threat that I got it in the inbox.

The insults continued in some of Sarajevo's media outlets for political persecution, as well as on social networks, including Emir Suljagic and Muhamed Fazlagic, GS candidates in these elections. That frightening hatred of hate is, I would say, nothing else to the expression of an attitude or a dark emotion that is from long ago in the air, sometimes less and sometimes more pronounced, to all those who do not think in a only one single permissible way. Everything else is "fascism"! Fascism is a word regularly used as a "good afternoon", the civic greeting that has almost disappeared from the antifascist society. The hatred that had touched on the status of the two candidates for the Presidency had only clearly shown that the war was not over in the heads of many "citizens." It was also the smallest reason, because someone was deprived of the 'unitarianism view' (politics decided by individuals, not by congregations or the denomination). You will agree that Komšic's biography does not really have anything but two or three years of working experience in the profession, followed by political employment and publicity, from the mayor of the municipality through the ambassador to the president of the state. Btw "the militant", was even more controversial, which is in fact the strongest "argument" by which this candidate wins the heart of unitarians. Unfortunately, even today twenty three years after the war! Just look at the Komsic electoral rhetoric motivated with so called necessities for territory defense. From whom? We could discuss this topic for a long time.


What is the cause of this behavioral behavior of individuals from public space in BiH who have obviously accepted such a normal deviation?

SANJA VLAISAVLJEVIĆ - Unfortunately, hate speech is widely adopted. Hate speech is a means of public communication that has replaced the weapon. I would say there are two views on BiH. One is the view of the majority people, and the other is the view of the two remaining peoples. We may talk about some other views, but they are so invisible and undefined that they are neglected. The view of the majority people is quite distinctly identified with, call it, civil, because in the political sense the line between them is almost invisible. However, neither civic political option has its strength based on a true civic concept, rather than on an idea incorporated in the will of the majority people, which is clearly defined in the Bosniak parliaments since the war years through the firm commitment of the main ideologists attitude made up of identifying nationality and statehood. Every insistence on the constituency of the people with them entails the denunciation of the type of "fascism". This is particularly evident in Sarajevo with those political and ideological subjects who have an inexhaustible need to impose their will on others. You will notice that the comments on my FB profile were merely comments by members of the most numerous people,from whom you can hear notes like: "You wont make it in our country..."

It is precisely this lack of understanding that some other people have different views also in their own and not some other country, that their rights are guaranteed by the Constitution, leading to such outbursts of intolerance. There is no doubt that this exclusivity has the greatest damage to its own people. I emphasize that what is happening to me, not for the first time, is no personal matter or mere excess, but rather a reflection of the widespread and very dangerous intolerance towards neighbors and fellow citizens.


There are 'sacred cows' in Bosnia and Herzegovina and narratives that obviously should not be questioned. How to end it?

SANJA VLAISAVLJEVIĆ - Yes, there are narratives that turn out to be unquestionable, but the question is for whom it is unquestionable. The dominant narrative of the most numerous people imposes an iron pattern in which there is room for others only if it is subordinate to their will. The social being of Bosnia and Herzegovina is not an amorphous being in which parts are not recognized as a special community. On the contrary, it is very important to see this social views in the richness of its configurations, through Sarajevo but also through Grude or Gacko. We live in the country of three politically self-conscious nations whose highest law is guaranteed equality, and endorsed by the centuries-old culture of coexistence. Our country differs essentially from the neighboring mono-national states, the states of a single majority and national minorities. However, pointless comments that I had received are: there is only one victim, only one truly truth, only one politic is sustainable, only one morality is unquestionable and only one narrative is truly a narrative of the honest man. There is only one pro-european view. But this is in fact a dangerous way of waging war and incurable hatred. The idea of inauthentic citizenship has become like that bull in which Zeus has turned, and if he goes after him, we will never reach Europe.


How do you and your family feel after everything that has been going on for the last few years, from 'insults' to your husband at college, to these latest threats?

SANJA VLAISAVLJEVIĆ - These are not the first attacks. But these seem to be the most brutal and most indulgent. I have not seen so much hatred and cruel threats for a long time. I would say that this is not an attack on me alone but a clear message to many: either you are with us or you are null! The fact that those who think and speak publicly differently from the majority speak in a brutal manner is actually talking about political immaturity and incompetence of public opinion for an open and critical debate on the burning issues of coexistence. If Sanja Vlaisavljevic is a great evil that needs to be eliminated at all costs because she thinks freely, she writes for the media from all over BiH, she advocates the dignity of all constituent peoples, not just some, if the rights of minorities and vulnerable people are placed in front of cheap populism, if she publicly stands for respect, and not discrimination and elimination, if she criticizes the language of bullying and hate speech, then it is only an indication that our society is in a big problem. But this problem is not Sanja Vlaisavljevic but hatred towards others and different. Has my hometown become obstructive for others and otherwise? If there are more of them at all?


Would BiH ever get to see such things to be dominantly condemned within the corps they originated from?

SANJA VLAISAVLJEVIĆ - I am affraid that it will take a long period of time. Today, the generations are raised in the matrix, according to which only one truth is valid, and just one correct view on BiH. This is the matrix in which the RS is made on a genocide, the Serbs are a genocidal people, Croats are the Ustashas, their policies are part of the UZP, their intellectuals and public figures are in the service of fascism, and everyone else will either assimilate or should leave the country. Those are unfortunately usual the cruel words addressed.


Are you afraid for your own safety?

SANJA VLAISAVLJEVIĆ - It is not pleasant to be exposed to the worst canonade threats. Open threats to my family and children. It is a typical method of intimidation and political banishment's. I would like to see at least one public condemnation of such methods of bullying, especially the condemnation of the media at the service of such threats, hatred, the worst disqualifications, and the condemnation of those politicians who, through hatred towards me developing their own reputation. It's not pleasant to live in the environment where you are fascist because you do not hate it. It's not pleasant to live in the environment where you are a labeled as target on the forehead just because you do not consent to the logic of the herd. Silence over these last threats and insults is much louder than intimidation. Unfortunately.





Dodik likes idea of Croat entity

The post 1992-95 war Bosnia has been arranged with the Dayton peace accords into the Serb republic (RS) and the Muslim-Croat Federation.

Dodik told Zagreb-based Croatian daily Večernji List that a separate Croat entity in Bosnia is a reality.

According to him, Bosniaks (Muslims) must realize that the stability of Bosnia-Herzegovina depends on their stance regarding that entity.

“If they wish to sustain Bosnia-Herzegovina, that (Croat) entity should be in their political program,” said the RS leader.

At the same time, he noted that the Serb entity’s “territorial capacity” is untouchable, and that there is no RS politician that would accept any talks on the subject of territorial rearrangements of the Serb republic.

Dodik also said that Croats in Bosnia were “devastated” by various intrigues brought on my some in the international community, and by Muslims.

“Bosniaks have clearly gathered together in order to marginalize Croats. There can be no talks about any multi-ethnic community without the Croats’ equal position held as a political people,” said Dodik.

The RS president also told the newspaper that the Bosniak desire to impose absolute domination over Croats and Serbs was “contentious”.

At the same time, he denied allegations that he and Bosnian Croat HDZ party leader Dragan Čović had forged a secret plan, and said these claims were coming from “sick media constructions, or from institutions that are more than anyone else destroying any hope that Bosnia-Herzegovina is possible”.

Dodik stressed that during a recent meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, she heard that his was not a policy of secession – “as they lie in Sarajevo” – but that he did believe it was best for Bosnia-Herzegovina to disintegrate peacefully.

Source: b92


Election-related law adopted in absence of Croats

The House of Representatives of the Federation entity (FBiH) unanimously adopted on Wednesday the Proposal of Law on Constituencies and the Number of Mandates in the FBiH Parliament. The law was passed in absence of Croat representatives, who previously announced they would not attend the session.

65 representatives in the House of Representatives of the FBiH, semi-autonomous entity shared by Bosniaks and Croats, adopted the law proposal after the Croat representatives expressed discontentment with the content of the proposal and the way in which the session discussing the document has been scheduled.

The law proponents, on the other hand, said they believed the law, if adopted in the House of Peoples too, will solve the election law impasse and enable implementation of the October election results.

Speaking for N1, FBiH President and HDZ senior official Marinko Cavara said the law proposal contained elements of denial of the Constitutional Court’s decision and Bosnia’s state institutions. He is convinced the House of Peoples will not adopt this text of the law.

Four parties – the Party of Democratic Action (SDA), the Alliance for Better Future (SBB), the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and the Democratic Front (DF), with support of the Our Party, agreed earlier on a law proposal that defines the geographical constituencies and the number of mandates in the Parliament of the FBiH, Bosnia’s entity shared by Bosniaks and Croats, hoping they would solve current political crisis that hinders progress of the country.

Bosnia’s state-level Election Law has been a burning issue since two years ago when the Constitutional Court ruled that some of its provisions were violating the state Constitution. One of the disputable provisions dictated that the Federation’s cantons delegate at least one representative from each of the country’s three main ethnic groups to the Federation’s House of Peoples.

Source: N1


Bosnia and Herzegovina: an ethnically divided country | DW Documentary

very true documentary


No more bullying and beating to the Croats

The president of HSS (Croatian Peasant Party) of BiH, Mario Karamatić, was guest on the show “Face of the Nation” said: “Bosniaks wants in again to bully Croats, but no more such a game”.

Show host said that Karamatić is currently one of the most popular politician in BiH and reminded all those who opposing him, from Mustafa Cerić to Valentin Inzko.

Asked if politics in BiH is like heavy metal music – Karamatić said not at all. “Metal has some rhythm and purpose, and in BiH, as far as politics is concerned, is only noise, I would have compared it more to a chicken coop than a metal concert,” Karamatić said.

Meeting with the Venice Commission

Karamatić should attend the meeting of the Venice Commission and BiH political leaders, but at the recommendation of the European Commission and on the demand of Bosniak parties, he was not there. He thinks that this move is showing what side they are holding.

“They keep the side of unitarian and Bosniak Sarajevo and so called halal-Serbs and Croats,” Karamatić said, adding: “They try to demolish BiH, that is made up of three peoples.”

BiH is more then few parts of Sarajevo

“I have to repeat what I have already said on your show, which is that BiH is not only one to another part of Sarajevo, as they representing in Sarajevo. Bosnia and Herzegovina is also in Široki Brijeg, Prnjavor and Grude, and Sarajevo does not understand it while this is how BiH will go to its inexcusable disintegration” – Karamatić was categorical.

Alibi attempt

“As far as the Venice Commission is concerned, this is some attempt at alibi because no compromise has been found. All embassies in BiH hold one side, after Mr Ljubic’s appeal and the decision of the Constitutional Court, HNS (Croatian National Assembly) expected a solution to this question, however, all the great Bosniak parties started talking that the House of Peoples of the Federation BiH should be transformed and look like the People’s Assembly in Republic of Serbs. We rejected this in HNS and then they called on the Venice Commission, which is completely illogical” – Karamatić said.

“No more”

“The attitude of the Venice Commission is an advisory one, not mandatory to anybody. The Croatians got enough dictatorship of a greater-bosniaks politics which is promoted by the international community as well. Just look at the enthusiasm of their audience and their portals on the candidacies of these particular Serbs and Croats that I call “halal ones” all of them are made to “bully and beat” Croats again, and I tell them they will not be able to” – Karamatić said.


In addition, last year Mario Karamatić was alerting regard this problems:

Mario Karamatić, a member of the Presidency of the Croatian National People’s Party (HNS), claims that BiH will remain without the Council of Ministers and the Federation of BiH without the Government, in case if the SDA does not accept the Croatian proposal to amend the Election Law and the RTV Service Act.

Karamatić said that HNS will support the conclusions of the HDZ BiH that by the end of the month parliamentary procedures will be submitted to law amendments that will allow Croats to elect their BiH Presidency member as well as establishing public RTV channels in Croatian language, and in the case of Bosniak rejection will be the follow up of the complete blockade of BiH.

“They will not, SDA and Bakir Izetbegović, determine what we are allowed and what we are not allowed to do, to ensure the equal status of the Croatian people in BiH,” Karamatić told for “Euroblic.”

He said that if the SDA does not support these demands, to seek and activate the provisions of the Vienna Convention, which would mean annulment of international treaties because of obstruction of one side.

Which would mean, as he said, “The Washington and Dayton Agreement no longer apply and that Croats have the right to revitalize Herceg-Bosna”.



Talks on changes to Bosnia’s Election Law fail after 5 hours

Yet another meeting on changes to Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Election Law has failed. After almost five hours of talks, the leaders of all major parties in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH) entity failed to reach an agreement. They agreed to call on the Venice Commission to help them with the issue.

The leaders of all major FBiH parties met with the Head of the EU Delegation to Bosnia Lars-Gunnar Wigemark and the US Ambassador to Bosnia Maureen Cormack to try to reach an agreement on amendments to Bosnia’s Election Law, after the Constitutional Court issued a verdict two years ago, deleting several articles from the Election Law due to unequal representation of peoples in the House of Peoples of FBiH.

The Democratic Action Party’s (SDA) Leader Bakir Izetbegovic said after the meeting that the Venice Commission will join the talks on the solution to the issue of Bosnia’s Election Law.

“There was no progress, we worked on the harmonization of our points of view. The atmosphere was good and there were attempts to reach an agreement. The Venice Commission will be engaged, especially on some elements related to the European standards,” Izetbegovic said. “This can be resolved by October 5th. The general election is coming and amendments can be expected by the beginning of October. The Commission will be engaged in the next 10 days.”

The Venice Commission is an advisory body of the Council of Europe, composed of independent experts in the field of constitutional law. He added that this is not the end and that the issue remains open until the general election.

“No one had changed their earlier attitudes towards this issue, with the exception of the Croat Democratic Union (HDZ BiH) who are insisting that the issue of the Presidency members’ election should also be resolved,” Izetbegovic added.

The Social Democratic Party’s (SDP) Leader Nermin Niksic said that there was no spectacular progress.

“This was my first time to take part in these talks and these talks were held in a pleasant atmosphere. HDZ BiH insisted that we resolve the issue of Bosnia’s Presidency members’ election,” Niksic said.

The Alliance for Better Future’s (SBB) representative Damir Arnaut spoke of the role of the Venice Commission.

“I know that the Venice Commission can’t say that a representative of one nation can’t be elected from some other part of FBiH or some other nation. This is one of the fundamental principles of the European Convention on Human Rights. This will surely preserve the right of every representative of any nation to be elected on any part of FBiH’s territory,” Arnaut said.

Zeljko Komsic, the Democratic Front’s (DF) Leader, said that the Venice Commission will not provide a model for resolution of the issue of amending the Election Law, but that it could provide a substantiated opinion on whether some solutions violate human rights or not.

“The people from the European Commission have promised their technical assistance, they will contact the Venice Commission. The most probable model of work will be that the experts will come, hear the views and concrete proposals of the parties and then provide their opinion,” Komsic said.

When asked if there would be any changes to Bosnia’s Election Law, Komsic said he wished he was wrong, but that it appears to him that it is highly unlikely that such a thing would happen.

The issue with the election of Bosnia’s tripartite Presidency members concerns the election of one Presidency member coming from one of three constituent peoples in Bosnia, by the residents who are members of other two constituent peoples.

Source: CNN N1


Bosnia’s Election Law crisis’s Daniel Serwer analyzed the crisis in Bosnia and Herzegovina concerning the Election Law amendments, saying that the crisis is not legal, but a political one.

In December 2016, the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) ruled partially in favour of a complaint lodged by former Croat Democratic Union politician Bozo Ljubic. At issue was the state election law provision dictating that cantons delegate at least one representative from each of the country’s three main ethnic groups to the Federation BiH (FBiH) entity House of Peoples. Ljubic argued that the Croat influence in cantons with majority Bosniak populations was unfairly diminished in the selection of delegates. He argued that Croat candidates, therefore, should be elected only out of majority Croat cantons, thereby ensuring that only Croats vote for Croat delegates. In effect, Ljubic asked the Court to forbid the Croats from Sarajevo, Tuzla and Bihać from becoming members of the House of Peoples of Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The Court partially agreed with Ljubic. The ruling struck down a portion of Bosnia’s Election Law, stating that it must be amended within six months, without specifying changes.

This has led some, especially the HDZ leadership, to argue that a legal vacuum now exists, claiming that the failure to amend the law could render the October general elections invalid or, alternatively, prevent government formation at the Federation entity level, ultimately leading to a total political paralysis and the collapse of the social security system.

This argument is not legal, but political.

The FBiH Constitution clearly regulates the election of delegates to the entity and state-level House of Peoples, as based on Annex VII of the Dayton Peace Agreement (DPA). Annex VII provides that all citizens can live and exercise their civil and political rights – including the right to vote and be elected – in their pre-war residence, as well as throughout the country. Furthermore, the FBiH entity Constitution states that the 1991 Census has to be used in determining the number of delegates in the Federation House of Peoples. Disregarding this requirement amounts to rewarding the results of ethnic cleansing and genocide.

The said provisions of the FBiH Constitution remain fully valid. The HDZ appears to be misreading the Court’s decision in order to justify its planned prevention of the election of delegates from four cantons controlled by the HDZ (West Herzegovina, Posavina, Canton 10, and Herzegovina-Neretva) to the FBiH’s House of Peoples. The ruse of electoral illegitimacy and the resulting crisis is simply another effort toward the HDZ’s territorial ambitions of creating a so-called “third entity.” In this, the HDZ leaders are publicly backed by the Government of Croatia and the Russian Federation.

The Dayton Peace Agreement envisages the Office of the High Representative (OHR) as the final arbiter precisely because no other final adjudicating authority exists within the legal order established by the DPA, of which Constitution of BiH is an integral part. Should the HDZ prevent the election of delegates from the said four cantons, the OHR can end the impasse by imposing the FBiH 2019 budget before the December 31, 2018 deadline.

Marinko Cavara, the HDZ-appointed FBiH President, can dissolve the FBiH Parliament only if the legislative body fails to adopt the entity budget before the end of the calendar year.

Furthermore, the HDZ cannot prevent the formation of the Bosnia’s Council of Ministers, which is elected solely by the state-level House of Representatives. In its 2011 decision, the Constitutional Court recognized the legal status of Sulejman Tihic as a standing member of the BiH House of Peoples despite the HDZ’s and Alliance for independent Social Democrat’s (SNSD) claims that the delegates’ previous mandates expired after new elections had been held. The Court ruled in favour of the continuity of Government in principle, meaning that officials must continue performing their tasks until new ones are sworn in. Thus, the state-level legislature continued to function despite HDZ and SNSD belligerence.

Under this precedent, similar attempts at disruption by HDZ (or other) delegates will not lead to the disruption of the Bosnia’s legal order, as the HDZ and others falsely claim, nor will it be the end of Bosnia as an internationally recognized state, as both the HDZ and SNSD hope. The Ljubic ruling will not render invalid the results of the 2018 general election or deny Government formation as long as the international community stands by the letter and the spirit of the DPA. The OHR should continue to fulfil the legal obligation thrust upon it by the international guarantors of the Dayton Peace Agreement, of which the US – the architect of the Bosnian peace – is of supreme importance.

The OHR and the international community cannot allow the 2013 Census results to be used as the basis for determining the formula for allocation of House of People delegates because that would directly violate the Federation BiH Constitution, annul the Annex VII of DPA, and amount to accepting the results of ethnic cleansing.

The implementation of the Ljubic decision in the spirit of HDZ’s interpretation would be equivalent to a contemporary “Three-Fifths Compromise.”The United States has a moral obligation not to allow such “solutions” to be implemented under its watch.

Furthermore, the implementation of the Ljubic decision in the spirit of HDZ’s interpretation would only embolden HDZ’s and SNSD’s ever-growing separatist ambitions, spelling instability and a likely return to conflict in the not too distant future – a security nightmare in the heart of Europe that would be more than welcomed by the Kremlin.

Daniel Swewer is a professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies and director of its Conflict Management Program, as well as a Senior Fellow in the Center for Transatlantic Relations and a Scholar at the Middle East Institute.

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